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Christopher Williamson’s nomination to head MSHA clears Senate committee

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Washington — Christopher Williamson’s nomination to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration moved closer to Senate confirmation after advancing out of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee by a voice vote on Feb. 10.

The committee also approved, by a voice vote, the nominations of Mary Lu Jordan and Timothy Baker to serve as members of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. 

If confirmed, Williamson would take over for acting administrator Jeannette Galanis. Former coal industry executive David Zatezalo was MSHA’s most recent Senate-confirmed leader, serving from November 2017 until January 2021. 

On Nov. 12, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Williamson, senior counsel to National Labor Relations Board Chair Lauren McFerran. 

 

A native of West Virginia, Williamson worked at MSHA during the Obama administration, advising the assistant secretary on agency policy, operations and communications. He also has served as labor counsel to former Senate HELP Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) and as a legislative assistant to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

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