I have the honor of serving as the Public Member on the Board for Global EHS Credentialing. This position, reserved for someone who does not hold one of BGC’s credentials, is intended to bring an external and public perspective to the Board. A trained and experienced environmental scientist, I have worked in the U.S. and Europe and spent much of my career on the staff of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), a large international professional society for environmental scientists, engineers, and operational professionals who work in the design or operation of water systems and technologies or who conduct related research.
During my career, I have met and/or worked with practicing professionals who held BGC credentials, and I have been impressed with the caliber of these experts and of their credentials. Consequently, I was honored and intrigued when I was approached just a couple of years ago about applying for the position of Public Member on the BGC Board. Little did any of us know when I joined the Board in January 2020 that the world was heading into an unprecedented crisis that would remind us in the starkest terms of the importance of robust standards of scientific research and practice. Serving on BGC’s Board during the pandemic has also caused me to reflect on more than one occasion just how truly essential the work performed by BGC diplomates really is. You are the experts who dedicate your careers to helping keep workplaces, homes, communities, and the environment safe, and I certainly haven’t had to look far for specific examples. Many of my fellow Board Members were volunteering for BGC during the pandemic and, at the same time, conducting vital work and research during their “day” jobs.
Just before I joined the BGC Board, I retired from the position of Executive Director of WEF. The photograph here is of me (in red) surrounded by the members of the WEF Board standing next to the Mississippi in New Orleans. It’s certainly been enlightening to serve a not-for-profit organization in a different capacity and to bring to the role a strong belief in the value of organizations like BGC and the impact good governance and visionary leadership can have. I am grateful for the experience, indebted to our hardworking staff, team, and my Board colleagues, and am grateful to each of you for the vital work you do every day and for your commitment to high standards of professional competence.
Eileen J. O’Neill, Ph.D., BCES, WEF Fellow
Public Member, BGC (Board for Global EHS Credentialing)
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