DIR Names Wilson Chief Scientist

Photo: Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson was named chief scientist for the State of California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) in December 2013. He will provide support to DIR Director Christine Baker in all areas of DIR’s operations, including representing the Department on the Governor’s Interagency Refinery Task Force. In March, Wilson testified on behalf of the Task Force before a U.S. Senate oversight hearing of the Obama Administration’s Executive Order on Chemical Facility Safety and Security.

Formerly,Wilson was the director of the Labor Occupational Health Program since 2011. He joined COEH in 2003 as an assistant research scientist, where he began work in the area of chemicals policy and green chemistry that later formed the basis for the state’s Green Chemistry Initiative and new laws and regulations, including the 2014 Safer Consumer Products regulations.

With colleagues across the Berkeley campus, Wilson co-founded the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC) and served as its Associate Director for Integrative Sciences. In 2011, the BCGC received an Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant from the National Science Foundation.

Wilson earned his MPH in Industrial Hygiene from UC Berkeley in 1998 and his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences – studying under Professor Katharine Hammond – from UC Berkeley in 2003. He was appointed by Assembly Speaker John Pérez in 2007 to the state’s Biomonitoring Science Guidance Panel, and he served on California EPA’s Green Chemistry Science Advisory Panel and Green Ribbon Science Panel.

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