New Executive Director of European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

New Executive Director of European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

Author: ChemistryViews

The Management Board of ECHA has selected Dr. Sharon McGuinness as the next Executive Director. Her selection follows that of Bjorn Hansen, who retired in March 2022. Since April 1, 2022, Shay O’Malley has been ECHA’s acting Executive Director.

Sharon McGuinness was one of the candidates preselected by the European Commission after an open competition and interviewed by ECHA’s Management Board for the post. As part of the appointment procedure, Sharon McGuinness will make a statement before the European Parliament and answer questions from its members. This is tentatively scheduled for July 4, 2022. The Management Board then appoints the new Executive Director. The term of office is five years. It may be prolonged by the Management Board once, for a further term of five years.

Sharon McGuinness, an Irish national, graduated from the University College Dublin, Ireland, with a B.Sc. (Hons) in pharmacology and chemistry, and holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology, as well as diplomas in Legal Studies and Company Direction. Since 2018, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), Dublin, Ireland. This is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.

She was a member of ECHA’s Management Board between 2014 and 2020 and Chair of the Board between 2016 and 2020.

ECHA is an Agency of the European Union implementing EU chemical regulations. The Agency enters a crucial time in its work, marked by the EU’s ambitious objectives under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS).


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