Wright Named CSB's Interim Executive

William Wright, a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), has been named interim executive and administrative authority of the agency following the departure of Chairman Carolyn Merritt, whose 5-year term expired Aug. 2.

Wright will serve in this capacity pending Senate approval of the presidential nomination of John S. Bresland to succeed Merritt as chair of CSB, which is anticipated sometime this fall. Bresland’s 5-year term also expired Aug. 2, and under governing statutes, CSB board members may not continue to serve until their nominations for new terms are confirmed by the Senate.

The delegation of executive authority was approved in a formal vote by the three current board members: Gary Visscher, William Wark, and Wright.

In a memo to the CSB staff, Wright said he hoped his “tenure is short lived … as we all anxiously await John Bresland’s return to the board in the position of chairman. I know the CSB will continue to excel at promoting prevention of accidents within the chemical industry and strive for excellence in all that we do here.”

Prior to his appointment to CSB, Wright served for 5 years as chairman of the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board. During this period, he worked closely with the assistant secretary of the Army for Environment Safety and Occupational Health and with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to safely eliminate various chemical stockpiles. He also worked with Service Secretaries to ensure a strong explosives safety program for the Department of Defense.

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