Dr. David Michaels is an epidemiologist and professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health. He was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (2009-2017),the longest serving in OSHA's history, and was Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health (1998-2001) charged with protecting workers, residents, and the environment around US nuclear weapons facilities. Much of Dr. Michaels' work has focused on the relationship between safety and health management systems, operational excellence and sustainability. He has lectured extensively on the topic and directed OSHA's first activities on sustainability in environment, social and governance (ESG). At OSHA, he expanded the agency's activities to protect whistleblowers under Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and 19 other statutes, and issued OSHA's first compliance guide and recommended practices for employers for preventing and addressing retaliation. Under his leadership, OSHA strengthened exposure standards for silica and beryllium, and issued new rules on safety, injury record-keeping and reporting and hazard communication.
Dr. Michaels has received the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award; the American Public Health Association's David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health; and the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award given by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.