Christopher Williamson confirmed as new MSHA administrator
Christopher Williamson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 29 as the new head of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Williamson takes 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, then-senior counsel to National Labor Relations Board Chair Lauren McFerran. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced Williamson’s nomination by voice vote Feb. 10.
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).