June 29, 2017

EH&S Leadership Transition

Dear Colleagues,

After 16 years as the Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S), Mark Freiberg has accepted the position of EH&S Executive Director on the UCSF campus. Mark's last day at Berkeley will be Friday, July 14. Effective at 5 pm that day, Brandon DeFrancisci will assume the role of Interim Director of EH&S at UCB until a national search can be completed. The search will be launched in July.

Fostering a world-class safety culture and set of processes that ensure every member of the UC Berkeley community goes home each day as healthy as when they arrived on campus is a strategic priority as well as a core Berkeley value. Every individual in a healthy safety culture acts with concern for others and sees safety as a shared responsibility. Charged wi th helping assure that Berkeley has a high-performing culture in this regard, the Office of Environment, Health & Safety provides guidance and services to the campus community that promote workplace safety and environmental stewardship.

Since first coming to UC Berkeley EH&S in 1995, Mark has built a strong reputation for collaboration with stakeholders, helping us ensure safety in our workplaces and protection of our campus environment. Under Mark's direction, EH&S has been instrumental in improving the safety cultures in campus laboratories, where we have the opportunity to magnify the impact of our culture by training researchers who will go on to lead research groups around the globe. His leadership has resulted in incentives and processes that substantially advanced safety on campus, including centrally-provided lab coats and other personal protective equipment for new researchers, standardized lab safety procedures, and enhanced safety inspection tools a nd executive reports. He also established the annual "Excellence in Laboratory Safety" awards for research groups demonstrating especially strong safety cultures. With Mark at the helm, EH&S also built its safety expertise in higher-risk operations outside of labs, such as facilities maintenance work. During the three years that Mark had stewardship over the Office of Emergency Management, our campus Emergency Operations Center was relocated to a seismically stronger facility and many new resources were made available. Please join me in thanking Mark for his very positive impact on our work environment, and wishing him continued success at UCSF.

One trait of a good leader is building a robust team, and I am confident in the abilities of the management and staff in EH&S as a whole. We will rely on this entire team, and Brandon DeFrancisci in particular, during this transition period. Having served as an EH&S Associate Director since January 2002, Brandon has be en personally involved in leading many of the program enhancements mentioned above, and he has overseen several large EH&S functions, including the Training, Biosafety, Chemical Safety, and Emergency Response programs, among others. With Brandon as Interim Director, EH&S will continue to provide excellent service to all campus units.

Best regards,


A. Paul Alivisatos

Vice Chancellor for Research
University of California, Berkeley

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