David Morris Michaels

Government Member

David Michaels, PhD, MPH, is the Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

He is an epidemiologist and a nationally recognized leader in the scientific community’s efforts to protect the integrity of the science on which public health and regulatory policies are based. Before joining OSHA, he was Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health.

From 1998 to 2001, Michaels served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health. In that position, he was the chief architect of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, the historic initiative to compensate nuclear weapons workers who contracted occupational illnesses as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium and other hazards. The program has provided more than $6 billion in payments to sick workers and the families of deceased workers.

In 2006, Michaels was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award, and, in 2009, the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award given by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, for his work in scientific integrity and for gaining compensation for nuclear weapons workers.

Michaels is the author of studies examining the health of construction workers, printers, bus drivers and other occupations, as well as of numerous publications on science and regulatory policy, including Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s War on Science Threatens Your Health (Oxford University Press, 2008). He is a graduate of the City College of New York, and holds a Master of Public Health and PhD from Columbia University.