The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) will welcome a new member to its leadership team on July 1. The Board of Directors has appointed UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter to serve a three-year term on the board as the Society’s public director – a position created in 2015 to gain a corporate perspective from outside the occupational safety and health profession.
“Ken’s leadership and business expertise will help inform our decisions, especially given his track record of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion,” said ASSP President Deborah Roy, M.P.H., RN, COHN-S, CSP, CIT, FASSP, FAAOHN. “His commitment to workplace safety is respected across the industry, and he brings a business acumen and a strategic mindset as we move to a future focus.”
Rueter’s term as public director will run through June 30, 2024. He will continue to lead UCOR, the Department of Energy's (DOE) cleanup contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee. Rueter guides a management team and a workforce of nearly 2,000 in tackling the largest environmental cleanup in DOE’s history, eliminating hazards and reducing risks. His dedication to safety resulted in the DOE awarding UCOR the Legacy of Star, DOE’s highest recognition in its Voluntary Protection Program.
Over three decades, Rueter has led all aspects of site cleanup and remediation, radioactive waste treatment and project integration, including construction and risk management. He previously served as president of Savannah River Remediation LLC, project manager for the Savannah River Liquid Waste Project and chief operating officer for the Hanford Tank Operations Contract in Washington State, among other leadership positions.
The culture of excellence Rueter instills in his workforce consistently delivers high value to customers. He has implemented a worker well-being program called Mission Ready, and supports workforce development through two local colleges. In 2019, the National Safety Council recognized Rueter as a CEO who “Gets It.” The designation is presented to leaders who go above and beyond to protect employees both on and off the job.
“I’m eager to play a role in helping ASSP execute its mission as a global occupational safety and health leader,” said Rueter, who has presented at the Society’s annual professional development conference. “I respect ASSP’s leadership approach of collecting many experienced viewpoints and believe I can contribute valuable perspectives to the discussions.”
Rueter will become only the third person to serve as ASSP public director since the position was created six years ago, replacing former Alaska Tanker CEO Anil Mathur, whose term ends June 30.
The 10-member Board of Directors consists of an elected president, president-elect, senior vice president, vice president of finance and four directors-at-large, as well as an appointed public director and CEO. The board’s responsibilities include overseeing the Society’s budget and maintaining a five-year strategic plan.