Howard Reappointed as NIOSH Director

Mark this down as great news for the entire EH&S community: Dr. John Howard has been reappointed director of the federal government's safety and health research agency.

CDC announced this week that Dr. John Howard, M.D., MPH, JD, LLM, has been reappointed director of NIOSH, effective Sept. 3, and he is now the longest-serving director of this important federal occupational safety and health research agency. He is NIOSH's sixth director.

Howard, and industry leader whose keynotes at AIHA conferences are must-see events, also has been reappointed as the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, which delivers medical monitoring and treatment for responders at the World Trade Center and related 9/11 sites in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa., and survivors who were in the New York City disaster area on Sept. 11, 2001.

He first served as director of NIOSH from 2002 to 2008 and has served again since 2009.

In a statement, American Society of Safety Engineers President Michael Belcher congratulated Howard on his reappointment to a third term: "ASSE is pleased that CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden has reappointed Dr. John Howard for a third term as Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. Dr. Howard's hard-working and creative leadership in occupational safety and health has established a culture of openness and cooperation between NIOSH and stakeholders like ASSE that has fueled an unprecedented effort to advance understanding of how to keep workers safe on the job. Specifically important to ASSE's members is NIOSH's work on Prevention through Design, on emerging risks like nanotechnology, on energized research and outreach in construction, on fall protection, in transportation, in the oil and gas industry and, most recently, in a significant NIOSH-ASSE study on overlapping vulnerabilities among Spanish-speaking workers. ASSE is excited to be able to continue to work with Dr. Howard and NIOSH to find further opportunities to advance worker safety through NIOSH's research and education opportunities."

CDC's announcement said Howard's future priorities at NIOSH "will include assisting the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), a public-private partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices; ensuring that NIOSH conducts cutting-edge research to address worker injury and illness risks in the 21st century; and supporting the agency's efforts to move research findings into practice.

Howard is board-certified in internal medicine, legal medicine, and occupational medicine. He also serves as a professorial lecturer in environmental and occupational health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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