Elizabeth “Liz” Mackey is the Chief Safety Officer (CSO) of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.
As the Director of OSHE and NIST’s CSO, Mackey is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a robust, integrated, and risk-based safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) management system and developing strategies to improve the agency’s safety performance and maintain a positive safety culture.
She leads the Office of Safety, Health, and Environment whose safety and environmental professionals provide support to NIST organizational units, including more than 5,000 federal employees and associates. Mackey chairs NIST’s Executive Safety Committee, a body of NIST organizational unit directors who provide input and guidance on safety program development and improvements and make recommendations to the CSO and the NIST Director on improving the agency’s safety performance. Mackey also serves on the Ionizing Radiation Safety Committee, which assists the NIST Director in providing oversight of NIST’s radiation safety program.
After receiving a B.S. in chemistry from Boston College in 1984 and Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from the University of Maryland in 1991, Mackey began her career as a research chemist in NIST’s Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, where she conducted research to develop and improve radiochemical analysis methods, and worked with external stakeholders on laboratory quality assurance and to develop and certify Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). In this position, Mackey authored or coauthored 55 publications, delivered 34 technical talks, and served as project leader or analyst on 34 SRMs.
In 2010, Mackey shifted her career focus from research to safety and became the Material Measurement Laboratory’s first Safety Program Coordinator. During her six years in this role, she designed a safety program to help the organization’s managers and staff maintain safe work practices through the development and implementation of safety policies, procedures, and systems. In 2014, Mackey was honored with the NIST Safety Award as the visionary leader behind the development of a web-based hazard review system that provided MML with a comprehensive, flexible, and user-friendly tool to manage its work and worker authorization processes and documents. Today, this system has been adopted by NIST organizational units to manage their hazard review programs.
While serving on NIST’s Safety Advisory Committee and as its chair in 2014, Mackey led many NIST-wide safety improvements such as strengthening the role of the safety representatives at NIST and building stronger collaborations between OSHE and the NIST staff, and the SAC and the ESC, on the development deployment of safety programs and tools.
Before being named as NIST’s CSO, Mackey served as Deputy Chief of the Material Measurement Science Division, where she developed operational policies and procedures, as well as processes to evaluate, prioritize, and fund new and innovative science. In this position, she was responsible for strategic planning, helping to manage the division’s $35 million budget, and leading the technical operations team.
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