David Michaels is an epidemiologist and Professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health of George Washington University. Appointed by President Obama to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, he served from 2009 to 2017, the longest serving in the agency’s history. From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Michaels was Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health, charged with protecting the workers, community residents and environment in and around the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities. In that position, he was the chief architect of the historic initiative to compensate nuclear weapons workers who were sickened by exposure to radiation, beryllium and other toxic exposures.

Much of Dr. Michaels’ work has focused on protecting the integrity of the science underpinning public health and environmental protections. He is the author of Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health and The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception, as well as articles in Science, JAMA, and numerous other journals.

Michaels is a graduate of the City College of New York, and holds an MPH and PhD from Columbia University.

By this expert

How Biden Can Protect Workers on Day 1

Article | Nov 13, 2020

By fully utilizing the power of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), President Biden could take meaningful steps to keep workers safe during the pandemic, even without Congress’s help

OSHA in the 21st Century: Real Protection for America’s Workers

Article | Jun 25, 2020

The Occupational Safety Health Administration was created 50 years ago. Today, it’s in dire straits, say OSHA’s leaders during the Obama administration

Featuring this expert

David Michaels Michael’s INET funded research is featured in SciTech Daily, Focus Technica, Medical Xpress, & Scienmag

News May 24, 2021

“This survey gives a voice to US health care workers who have been on the frontlines of COVID-19,” David Michaels, a professor of environmental and occupational health at the George Washington University and former administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said. “Health care workers have valuable first-hand knowledge about this pandemic and this report offers recommendations that could help keep the U.S. on a steady course now and in the future.” …. Michaels and Melissa Perry, a professor and chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, provided guidance in producing the report. The McElhattan Foundation and the Institute for New Economic Thinking provided financial support for the survey and the report.” — George Washington University

David Michaels and Gregory Wagner’s INET article was mentioned in Payday Report

News Nov 17, 2020

“Former Obama-era OSHA Director Dr. David Michaels and Harvard Medical School professor Gregory Wagner also released a white paper outlining immediate steps that OSHA could take to stop the spread of COVID in the workplace. The steps range from issuing an emergency workplace standard to increasing fines to involving community groups in helping target non-compliant employers to use the power of OSHA’s public affairs to publicly shame corporations that won’t comply with COVID regulations. Go to the Institute for New Economic Thinking to check out their 11-part proposal to fight COVID in the workplace under a Biden Administration” — Mike Elk