Strategy, Governance and Direction

The Board is responsible for the strategy, governance and direction of OHTA. It has developed following a series of constitutional changes designed to enable greater involvement from IOHA and member associations and to ensure a sustainable rate of growth for OHTA.

The Board consists of up to 12 individuals who are actively engaged in building OHTA. Some are business leaders and senior professionals within national occupational hygiene associations, others are senior occupational hygienists, and a number have been involved with OHTA since the beginning. All are committed to improving standards of occupational hygiene around the world. Individuals on the Board derive no personal financial benefit from their involvement.

You can often meet them in person at national and international hygiene conferences and they all welcome the chance to talk more about OHTA.

When recruiting new Board members we are looking for interest in the objectives and work of OHTA, knowledge and experience in IH/OH work globally, demonstrable leadership in a country specific organisation or association, and geographical and cultural diversity.

Chris Laszcz-Davis

Ms Chris Laszcz-Davis MS, CIH, FAIHA, REPA, AIC Fellow, COH


As President of The Environmental Quality Organization (EQO) LLC and former Corporate Vice-President, EH&S, Operational Integrity and Product Stewardship, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, Chris has over 35 years of executive management, professional, operational, technical and consulting experience in occupational safety & health, environmental affairs, operational integrity, risk management, product stewardship/quality, strategic planning, auditing, and corporate acquisitions/ divestitures in industry and government. Prior to working for industry, Chris also worked for the US Department of Energy (DOE) as a regional Manager.

Chris is an American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Fellow, an American Institute of Chemists (AIC) Fellow, and a recipient of several awards including the 2021 Distinguished Service to AIHA Award as well as the AIHA Kusnetz and Alice Hamilton Awards. As Past President, American Academy of Industrial Hygiene (AIH), Chris was instrumental in having the profession sponsor its first major Conference on Risk Assessment in the early 1990’s. Chris has served on numerous boards including the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and AIHA, as well as being a Trustee for both the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF). When with ABIH, she served as ABIH’s delegate to the IOHA National Accreditation Recognition (NAR) Committee. She is a 2017 member of NIOSH’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), and Past-President of the California Industrial Hygiene Council (CIHC), a state EH&S legislative advocacy group. Chris was appointed to California’s Health & Safety Standards Board by the previous Governor and reappointed with the new administration. Chris is a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) and the American Association of Safety Professionals (ASSP). Chris is joint Chair of the Board of Trustees of OHTA.

Steven Verpaele

Mr Steven Verpaele MSc


Steven Verpaele currently works as manager Industrial Hygiene at the Nickel Institute and had senior roles at Mensura and the University College of Ghent. He is founder and president of the Belgian Centre for Occupational Hygiene (BeCOH), board member of the Belgian Society for Occupational Hygiene (BSOH), extraordinary member of the Belgian High Council for Prevention and Protection at Work and the Belgian representative in the EU OH platform. In 2020 he was the recipient of the AIHA Yant Award. With a Master’s degree in Environmental Chemistry – Industrial Hygiene, he has more than 10 years’ experience as an expert in different ISO and CEN workgroups, with primary focus on workplace atmospheres. Steven is joint Chair of the Board of Trustees of OHTA.

Mr Peter-John Jacobs ROH

Mr Jacobs is a former president of the Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH), and has been actively involved in occupational hygiene for almost 30 years having spent the last 10 years working the mining and energy industries. He now works as a consultant for Sedulitas. He has also served as the president of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA).

Ms Ruth Jimenez Saavedra MSc, MBA, LFOH

Ruth Jimenez Saavedra is the current President of the Spanish Association of Industrial Hygiene and Secretary/Treasurer of the International Occupational Hygiene Association. She has wide experience in Occupational Hygiene in the UK and Spain and was a member of the OHTA Leadership Group until April 2015. She has participated in several working groups in the European Commission, the National Commission for Health and Safety at Work and national and European standardisation bodies. For the last six years she has been working at the Spanish National Institute for Health and Safety at Work managing projects on chemicals, nanomaterials, exposure modelling, control banding tools, REACH and CLP. She has also been a visiting lecturer at several Universities in Spain, Italy, Peru, Portugal.

Sharann Johnson

Dr Sharann Johnson AM, FAIOH, COH

Sharann has worked at the nexus of occupational hygiene, occupational health and product stewardship for over 30 years. Initially, as corporate hygienist for BP Australia she worked with oil and mining operations. Following a secondment to London with BP Oil Group, she completed her career as a HSE Manager in European and Asian businesses. Sharann now is a consultant to the mining sector. Sharann was 2009 AIOH President and is currently on the AIOH Certification Board and IOHA NAR Committee. Sharann has achieved certification by the AIOH, BOHS and ABIH in past years. She is a AIOH Fellow and AIOH Pam de Silva Awardee for contributions to occupational hygiene.

Alan Leibowitz

Mr Alan Leibowitz CIH, CSP, FAIHA

Alan Leibowitz is President of EHS Systems Solutions, a consultancy solving leadership and management systems challenges. He previously spent 35 years with ITT ultimately leading its global EHS and Security program. In this role he directed all program elements including industrial hygiene, sustainability, business continuity, product safety, auditing and environmental remediation. He is a leader in management systems who led the development of ANSI Z10. He served on the Board of Directors of AIHA, NAEM, RAB and the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS). He chaired EHS councils for the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and was a Liaison Delegate to the WBCSD. He currently chairs the Board for Global EHS Credentialing (BGC), the parent organization for the ABIH. In 2021 he is the recipient of the AIHA Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award. Alan is Honorary Treasurer of OHTA.

Dr Zack Mansdorf CIH, CSP, QEP, FAIHA

Dr Mansdorf is a distinguished occupational hygienist with a background in insurance, academia, consulting and industry. He is a former senior vice president of L’Oreal with considerable international experience. He is a former president of AIHA and has served on the governing bodies of many US IH/OH and safety organisations.

Lynn ODonnell

Ms Lynn O’Donnell CIH, FAIHA

Lynn O’Donnell received degrees in Nursing, Industrial Hygiene and Management from the University of Virginia, University of Michigan and Aquinas College. From 1977–1990, she worked for the Michigan Department of Public Health, Division of Occupational Health in the areas of compliance, consulting, training and education and health standards promulgation. O’Donnell was certified by ABIH in Comprehensive Practice in 1981 and also received the Bloomfield award from ACGIH that year. She is a Fellow Member of AIHA, served as ABIH Director 1983-1989; Academy Councilor 1986-1988; AIHA Director 1989-1992 and Executive Director of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene from January 1991-June 2014. In 2010, O’Donnell received the AIHA Alice Hamilton Award and was the recipient of the first ABIH Lynn C. O’Donnell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. She received the ACGIH Meritorious Achievement Award in 2019. O’Donnell is Chair of the OHTA Awards & Qualifications Committee.

David Zalk

Dr David M Zalk CIH, MPH, FAIHA

A former president of IOHA and current IOHA envoy to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Zalk has assisted in the founding of various global outreach efforts. He has been chair of many IH/OH Committees within AIHA and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). A Director of Occupational Hygiene for the GPOHP Online Course at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr Zalk is also a Deputy Team Leader for ES & H at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Jane Whitelaw FAIOH, COH, CIH

Jane’s primary area of research is in the evaluation of controls for prevention of occupational diseases with a particular focus on respiratory illnesses. She is an expert in respiratory protection and is a Lecturer in the School of Health and Society and OHS Academic Program Director at the University of Wollongong.