It’s 2012 — here are the leaders of the environmental health and safety world.

Two common leadership traits we note in all the different sorts of personalities listed: 1) Everyone here is a competitor, and everyone has ambitions. Some are quiet, some combative, but all are competitive and ambitious; 2) They know more, oftentimes much more, than they will tell you. Supports the adage: “Those who talk don’t know, and those who know don’t talk.” Another leadership trait: discipline.

Chuck Adkins – OSHA region VII administrator based in Kansas City, a CIH and a Class A regulator. True professional.

Jordan Barab – OSHA officials come and go, Jordan’s been in DC pushing and blogging about job safety proposals for decades. He rotates from inside and outside the agency and Capitol Hill. (1) (2)

Mark Bly – as executive VP for safety and operational risk at BP, he occupies the hottest seat in safety; started at BP in 1984 and now must make good on BP’s vow to set a new standard for safety excellence.

Liz Borkowski – lively blogger on The Pump Handle. Research associate at George Washington University’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. (3)

Bill Borwegen – Service Employees International Union safety and health director never misses a moment to advocate for safety, especially now in the healthcare sector.

Robert Brady – an attorney and CEO since 1977 of Business & Legal Reports, a subscription-based safety, enviro and HR interactive community and management services delivering daily, weekly and monthly compliance and professional info across multiple media platforms. 

Garrett Brown – Cal/OSHA officer is one of the top experts on globalization and the too-often attendant degradation of safety. (4)

PieterJan Bots - Owner of EHSQ Elite and its 21,567 members worldwide, one the best LinkedIn discussion groups.

David Carroll – VP, environment and public affairs for LaFarge issued report on Corporate Ecosystems Service Valuation Business Guide.

Tom Cecich – one-time pharma industry EHS director is a prime mover behind the new Center for Safety and Health Sustainability. (5)

Mike Connors – OSHA region V boss headquartered in Chicago, one of the class acts in the agency, with the likes of Marthe Kent (Region I honcho), Bob Kulick (acting Region II head) and Cindy Coe (Region IV administrator). Political regimes come and they go; these folks are the spine of the agency.

Andrew Cutz – he’s all over the Internet promoting and discussing global EHS issues you’d otherwise never know about.

Aubrey Daniels – safety books rarely get mainstream media attention, but Aubrey has authored several on the human side of why we do what we do that have attracted notice.

John Drebinger – one of the most-traveled and best-marketed of the safety motivational speakers. Funny, emotional and very successful.

Colin Duncan – fast-flying CEO of BST epitomizes the new era of market-driven global safety. As the behavior-based safety movement proved 20 years ago, who needs regs?

Thea Dunmire – authority and blogger on OHSAS 18001, the most popular EHS management system in the world.

Fay Feeney – extremely well-connected consultant at the forefront of bringing safety into the 21st century world of operational excellence and business risk. Now that’s talking management’s language.

Fred Fortman – for years as executive director of ASSE he and his leadership team have presided over the booming growth of ASSE’s national conference and multi-media brand extensions.

Jim Frederick – assistant director HSE for the United Steelworkers and on the staff of the Tony Mazzocchi Center for health, safety and environmental education. The late fiery, formidable Mazzocchi, one of the all-time hell-raisers in job health and safety, was pivotal in the creation of OSHA. (6)

Janet Froetscher – president and CEO of the mothership, the National Safety Council.

Richard Fulwiler – former EHS Global VP seems to be known by everyone; has schooled a generation of sales reps and product managers in how to quit relying on OSHA to sell and instead make a business case for safety via the Qualified Safety Sales Professional course; Rick has written and lectured extensively when not motoring on his Harley.

Scott Geller – how many ebullient, charismatic humanistic behaviorists do you know? His loyal following stretches back decades. The psychology of safety and a generation of Ph.D. grads are Scott’s legacy.

Randy Green – successor to Ivan Weinstock as the hardest-working magazine publisher in the safety business; has made ISHN the premier safety publication in the U.S.

Bill Grana – tech savvy CEO of PureSafety survived the Internet bubble burst of 2000 and continues with his team to push and prod the safety profession into a higher level of technology acceptance: enterprise-wide software for managing safety training, programs, occupational health, medical records, cases and claims.

Mike Gromacki – VP of operations and chief tech officer at Dixie Chemicals, Houston, responsible for sustainable development, green chemistry, energy efficiency and alternative energy. Look for more professional titles to include these key issues.

Tom Grumbles, former AIHA president, CIH at Entrix in Houston, is a leading authority on what every IH should know about stewardship and sustainability.

Samuel Gualardo, MA, CSP – director of PA OSHA consultation at Indiana University of PA (IUP) and present of National Safety Consultants, Inc. Past ASSE president is expert speaker and author on safety management.

Mary Margaret Hamilton – Social investment specialist, Shell Upstream Americas, Houston.

Mark Hansen – past ASSE president and one of the early proponents of “you have to make the business case for safety,” on which he has authored articles and books.

Ron Hayes – Mother Jones magazine called him a “hellraiser.” Ronnie has driven across the country for nearly 20 years since the workplace death of his son, counseling families of victims and conducting safety training classes, always for free. Has poked, prodded and threatened OSHA to be more empathic with victim’s kin.

David Heidorn – manager, government affairs & policy, ASSE.

John Henshaw – MPH, CIH, Sr. VP, managing principal, ChemRisk LLC, Sanibel, FL. The former AIHA president and OSHA chief never ages. Polished proponent of making the business case for safety.

Darryl C. Hill – most recent past president of ASSE.

Hugh Hoagland – Sr. partner, and President,, Louisville, KY, has conducted 100 electrical incident investigations, 60,000+ arc flash tests and is an expert in arc flash testing and electrical safety. Hugh drives arc testing methods that feed the NFPA 70E standard and is a member of ASTM, ASSE, NFPA, IEEE, CSA Z462 and IEC representing the U.S. as an expert in arc flash for ISO standards.

Dr. John Howard – NIOSH director is the most visionary EHS professional of his generation.

Diane Hurns – ASSE’s PR/Media Relations maven is the best PR person in the field.