Mingo County native nominated to lead federal mine safety agency

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mingo County native Chris Williamson has been nominated by President Joe Biden to head the nation’s mine safety agency.

The White House announced Williamson’s nomination Friday evening to the position of Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) at the Department of Labor.

Williamson is currently the Senior Counsel to Chairman Lauren McFerran of the National Labor Relations Board. Before that, he worked in MSHA on the senior leadership team during the Obama-Biden administration.

Williamson also served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.

United Mine Workers Union President Cecil Roberts praised the nomination.

Cecil Roberts

“Chris Williamson is the most knowledgeable expert on mine safety and health in Washington today,” Roberts said in a statement. “His in-depth understanding of what it takes to keep miners safer and healthier at work is unmatched, and I expect that the Mine Safety and Health Administration will be a stronger advocate for miners under his watch.”

Roberts urged the U.S. Senate to quickly confirm Williamson.

“America’s miners need a tough watchdog and they need him now,” Roberts said.

Williamson grew up in Dingess. He earned an undergraduate degree and law degree from WVU. He also earned a Master of Public Policy from American University.

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