CSB's Long-Serving Member Joining O'Connor Center

John Bresland, who has served on the U.S. Chemical Safety Board since August 2002, is retiring Aug. 31 to join the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center as a Research Fellow.

John Bresland, the person who probably is the best-known member of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, is retiring from the federal agency next week. Bresland is the longest-serving board member, having served since August 2002, and was CSB's chairman from March 2008 to June 2010 after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 14, 2008.

"For the past ten years, Mr. Bresland has been an integral part of the agency -– the longest-serving board member ever, including two years as chairperson; the overseer of many challenging and significant cases, including Bayer Crop Sciences and Imperial Sugar; the agency's leader during the opening of our first regional office in Denver; a staunch advocate for the board’s mission in multiple congressional hearings and other venues too numerous to count; and the initiator of the CSB's investigation of the Gulf disaster, the fruits of which we are now beginning to see. So it is with a mixture of some sadness but great respect that we must now wish Mr. Bresland and his family all the best in this new chapter of their lives," Current Chairperson Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said in a recent news release announcing Bresland's plan to retire Aug. 31.

John Bresland served as a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board for a decade and was its chairman from March 2008 to June 2010.It said Bresland plans to return home to Shepherdstown, W.Va., but also will become a Research Fellow for the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. "As a Research Fellow at the center, Mr. Bresland will provide counsel and input to Center programs and activities," center Director M. Sam Mannan said. "He will also be engaged in special process safety projects of global significance."

The center will host its 15th Annual International Symposium Oct. 23-25 in College Station, with process safety experts from around the world attending. The event is titled "Beyond Regulatory Compliance, Making Safety Second Nature" and includes an expo.

Before joining CSB, Bresland was president of Environmental and Safety Risk Assessment LLC, a chemical process safety consulting company based in Morristown, N.J., and a consultant to the Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In the role he worked as a project manager on two committees writing books on dust explosions and the management of reactive chemical hazards, according to CSB's online bio. He worked in line management and corporate safety roles for chemical companies prior to those assignments.

"The past decade has seen the CSB's evolution from a young and little-recognized organization to an internationally renowned agency pressing industry to constantly improve process safety performance," Bresland said. "It has been my privilege to serve here alongside a group of highly talented and dedicated public servants advancing this vital, life-saving mission. I wish everyone at the CSB continued success and look forward to new challenges and experiences in my role with Texas A&M University."

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