The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) will welcome Jennifer McNelly as its new executive director on Aug. 16. She was introduced to staff Monday at ASSP headquarters and will become the Society’s eighth executive director since ASSP was founded in 1911. McNelly brings 30 years of association, government, regulatory and business experience to a role charged with advancing the organization’s mission to create safe work environments by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
The ASSP says McNelly will work with its Board of Directors to execute a strategic plan for growth while building on the Society’s 107-year legacy and addressing the evolving needs of the professional occupational safety and health community. She will lead 75 staff members and more than 37,000 safety and health professionals worldwide.
“Jennifer is a strong fit for ASSP and will help continue our growth and champion our new brand,” said ASSP President Rixio Medina, CSP, ASP, CPP. “Her breadth of experience and proven success will be a key asset to our global members as we highlight the value of our profession, strengthen the Society’s position as a leading voice and foster a collaborative culture of member engagement, performance, accountability, innovation and service.”
McNelly most recently was president of Indianapolis-based 180 Skills LLC, an online career and technical education company aimed at closing the manufacturing skills gap and transforming organizational and individual performance. Prior to that, McNelly served as president of The Manufacturing Institute, the nonprofit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the national authority on attracting and developing world-class manufacturing talent. Over nine years with NAM, she was a national champion in changing the perception of manufacturing careers and re-establishing the United States as the global leader in technical education. She launched the national STEP Ahead™ initiative to increase the engagement of women in manufacturing and co-founded National Manufacturing Day™ to engage the next generation workforce.
McNelly served at the U.S. Department of Labor as director of the Business Relations Group and administrator of its Office of Regional Innovation and Transformation. She has testified before Congress on manufacturing and workforce training and is past chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Manufacturing. A University of Maryland College Park graduate, McNelly earned the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award and was named among the 100 Women Leaders in STEM. She also interviewed numerous accomplished women in manufacturing who inspire the next generation of industry leaders by serving as host at Women and Manufacturing Radio.
“ASSP is one of the most respected professional associations in the world, and I am honored and excited to guide the organization in executing its mission as a global occupational safety and health leader,” McNelly said. “Sound safety practices are socially responsible and good business, leading to increased productivity, a better reputation and higher employee satisfaction. I look forward to working with ASSP’s volunteer membership, exceptional staff and dedicated Board of Directors to make a real difference for the profession and our members around the globe.”
McNelly replaces Dennis Hudson, who is retiring after a distinguished career that includes two years as ASSP executive director and 11 years at the Society overall.