John Howard, M.D. was reappointed as the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and as Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, effective September 3, 2015. Dr. Howard is the sixth director of NIOSH and, with this reappointment, now the longest serving in the role.
As one of the nation’s leaders in occupational health and worker safety, Dr. Howard has worked with scientists, medical professionals, workers and labor groups, and business leaders to effectively lead investigations into new and potential health hazards, and to address workplace health and safety concerns. His dedication and passion to ensuring safe and healthy workplaces will lead NIOSH into the future as the organization adapts to the ever-evolving nature of work.
He first served as NIOSH director from 2002 through 2008, and again from 2009 to the present. Bringing with him a wealth of administrative experience from his service in both state and federal governments and a long history of personal dedication and professional achievement to the field of occupational safety and health, Dr. Howard has ably led NIOSH and the WTC Health Program in a time of unprecedented challenges and opportunities.
Dr. Howard is board-certified in internal medicine, legal medicine, and occupational medicine. He is also admitted to the practice of medicine and law in the state of California and in the District of Columbia, and he is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar. He has written numerous articles on occupational health, law and policy, and 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.
Dr. Howard received a doctor of medicine degree from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University of Chicago, a master of public health degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health, a doctor of law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master of law degree in administrative law and economic regulation from George Washington University.
In the years to come, Dr. Howard will launch the 3rd Decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda—a public-private partnership—now in its 20th year; ensure that NIOSH conducts cutting-edge research to address both persisting and emerging worker injury and illness risks in the 21st century; and support NIOSH’s efforts to move research findings into practice for the betterment of all workers.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., it has facilities in Atlanta, GA; Morgantown, W.VA.; Pittsburgh, PA.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Spokane, Wash; Denver, Colo., and Anchorage, Alaska.
ASSE congratulates Howard
American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Michael Belcher’s statement congratulating Dr. John Howard on his reappointment to a third term as Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):
“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.“