Deputy Assistant Secretary
Jordan Barab has served as the OSHA deputy assistant secretary since April 2009. He previously served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA from 1998 to 2001 when he helped the agency to promulgate the ergonomics workplace safety and health standard that was repealed by Congress in March 2001. For the House Education and Labor Committee, he was senior labor policy advisor for health and safety from 2007 to April 2009.
Barab worked on workplace safety issues for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board from 2002 to 2007; he was a health and safety specialist for the AFL-CIO from 2001 to 2002; and he directed the safety and health program for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees from 1982 to 1998. He also created and wrote the award-winning blog, Confined Space, from 2003 to 2007.
He holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College.
Michelle M. Robertson, Ph.D., C.P.E.
Liberty Mutual Research Institute
Liberty Mutual Research Institute Research Scientist Michelle M. Robertson, Ph.D., C.P.E., has conducted applied research in ergonomics and systems management for nearly 20 years. Her research, primarily in office environments, focuses on work organization, job demands, work-site interventions, and training program design effectiveness. She has studied a variety of industries including telecommunications, aerospace, automobile and computer manufacturing.
Before joining the Research Institute in 1998, Robertson was a senior research manager in the product research group at Herman Miller, an office systems furniture company in Holland, Michigan. In this position, she conducted applied research projects in ergonomics and organizational and individual effectiveness. She also served 12 years on the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Institute of Safety and Systems Management. In this role, she conducted research and taught in the areas of occupational ergonomics, macroergonomics, work system design, instructional design and training.
A board-certified professional ergonomist, Robertson holds a Ph.D. in instructional technology and an M.S. in systems management from the University of Southern California. She received her B.A. in human factors from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A fellow of the International Ergonomics Society, she also is a member and fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and has served as their secretary/treasurer and an executive council member. In 2008, she was a co-recipient of the National Occupational Research Agenda Innovative Research Award for Worker Health and Safety. She has published more than 95 scientific papers and has presented her work around the world.