Meet Mark Whitacre, PhD

Mark Whitacre, PhD is best known publicly for his whistleblower role in the mid-1990s at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) where he exposed an international price fixing conspiracy for the FBI. He wore a wire for almost three years for the FBI helping to establish one of the largest price fixing cases in USA history. The ADM case landed Mark in federal prison for fraud and tax evasion. The case is well documented in hundreds of articles and was the subject of three books. James Lieber, an experienced attorney, wrote the book titled, “Rats in the Grain” in 2000. After finishing his book about Whitacre’s role in the ADM case, James Lieber became a strong supporter of Whitacre’s and has been very involved with the lobbying effort for a Presidential Pardon. Kurt Eichenwald wrote the book titled, “The Informant” in 2000 which was used for the 2009 Matt Damon movie, “The Informant”. A third book, “Mark Whitacre Against All Odds”, was published in 2009 by Stevin Hoover which details the family story about how the Whitacre family survived against all odds.

In addition to the FBI agents and a former prosecutor assisting Mark with clemency, dozens of other professionals, including Paul Willis (Cypress’ CEO), Harmon Killebrew (Baseball Hall of Famer), Chuck Colson (former Special White House Counsel for President Nixon and Founder of Prison Fellowship), and numerous law firms that were involved with class action lawsuits against ADM, continue to assist with the Presidential Clemency process”.

Furthermore, a motion picture was released by Warner Brothers about Mark’s role in the ADM case. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon playing the role of Mark Whitacre, the feature film was released at cinemas on September 18, 2009.

Mark has traveled the country with his inspirational story that he has shared with corporations, law enforcement and numerous faith groups across the country.  His topics include:

  • Price Fixing Cases, Including His Own Story
  • Working As An Informant
  • Overcoming Mental Illness and Depression
  • Importance of His Christian Faith
  • Life In Federal Prison

Dr. Whitacre attended the Ohio State University at Columbus, Ohio and was quickly enrolled into a special honor’s program where he completed simultaneously both B.S. and M.S. degrees in animal nutrition (Animal Science Department) in 1979. He graduated from Ohio State “Cum Laude” and “With Distinction”. He then matriculated in the Graduate School at Cornell University at Ithaca, New York, completing a Ph.D. degree (1983) majoring in Nutritional Biochemistry. In the early 1980s, Cornell University required two minors prior to obtaining a Ph.D. degree and Dr. Whitacre’s minors were in Biochemistry and International Nutrition. Dr. Whitacre conducted his Ph.D. dissertation research studying the biochemical role of selenium in the pancreas under the direction of a world renowned selenium researcher, Dr. G.F. Combs, Jr.

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