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Assistant Director, Chemical Safety and Chemical Hygiene Officer

Aloysius Butler & Clark
Nashville, Tennessee
not listed
Closing date
Jun 18, 2023

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Field of specialization
Green Chemistry
Work Function
Health / Safety
Job Type
Full time

Job Details

Assistant Director, Chemical Safety and Chemical Hygiene Officer

Nashville, TN, United States

Address: 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235

This position will be hybrid with most of each week spent working on campus and a smaller portion working remotely. Core work hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday with various alternative work hours and schedules available.

The Chemical Safety Assistant Director is part of the Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability organization at Vanderbilt University and is a key leader responsible for launching and managing the research chemical safety and hazardous waste management program for the VU research enterprise. You will act as the university’s Chemical Hygiene Officer and will report directly to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability.

The Chemical Safety Assistant Director will:

  • Be responsible for providing innovative, strategic, and tactical leadership for a comprehensive laboratory chemical safety and hazardous waste management program providing a safe work environment for all VU research community members who use hazardous chemicals, preventing loss of life and injury to faculty, staff, students, and visitors; protecting the environment; and protecting VU property. The program impacts the teaching and research mission of the university and the university community. Have oversight and lead responsibility for university compliance with applicable laws and regulations and key hazardous waste, chemical safety, and industrial hygiene implementation programs with a laboratory focus, including transitioning the activities of VUMC’s Office of Clinical and Research Safety, which currently manages the chemical safety and hazardous waste management functions in support of VU activities. Lead any emergency response or exposure investigations related to the use of chemicals in the research environment. Support the activities of the Chemical Safety Committee and might serve on multiple other committees, such as the workplace safety committee, emergency management operations, risk management committee, etc. Maintain extensive and frequent interaction with university research faculty, staff, and students; members of the national chemical safety and industrial hygiene community; representatives of federal, state, and local agencies who have a vested interest in chemical safety issues; and the university community.


Workplace Highlights:
Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability is part of the Health and Wellness organization and consists of research-centric safety services, university sustainability leadership, and public health operations support. Health and Wellness is a new organization at the university that encompasses EHSS, along with wellness, employee, and student support programs. EHSS is an 18-member team that supports a top-13, world-class research university with a community of 27,000 faculty, staff, and students on 12 million square feet of academic, administrative, residential, and recreational space on 330 acres in downtown Nashville, TN.

As a member of the Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability Team, you will develop and maintain strong, collaborative, and communicative relationships with Vanderbilt’s research and administrative community and identify additional ways to be of service and ensure customer satisfaction.

This position supports the success of a high-performing organization by championing and driving efficiency and effectiveness using safety informatics, databases, software, and instructional technology.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Act as the university’s subject matter expert in relation to hazardous chemicals. Collaboratively develop vision, mission, budget, policies, procedures, and key performance indicators for laboratory chemical safety and hazardous waste management at Vanderbilt. Establish a relationship with VUMC OCRS to transition chemical safety and hazardous waste management functions to VU management, including chemical safety committee support, chemical inventories, space tracking, user group management and training, inspections, medical surveillance tracking, hazardous waste collection and packaging program, and emergency response needs. Ensure regulatory and audit findings are timely and effectively addressed. Develop opportunities for improvement in current chemical safety and hazardous waste services, faculty support processes, training, and information systems. Ensure effective chemical safety and hazardous waste training modules are assigned to appropriate VU faculty, staff, and students in Oracle Learn or in person and regulatory-required completion data is tracked and reported appropriately. Support VU Facilities projects impacting laboratories that require chemical safety, hazardous waste, toxic gas management, and industrial hygiene guidance. Set chemical safety and hazardous waste management service standards to meet customer and administrative expectations. Manage the university’s Chemical Hygiene Plan with annual updates. Identify and implement best practices and corrective actions across the laboratory chemical safety and hazardous waste management continuum that ensure high-quality, improve systems and services, meet needs, and ensure compliance with complex and rapidly changing federal, state, regional, and local laws and accreditation requirements. Support researchers in the assessment and selection of appropriate personal protective equipment. Develop standard operating procedures and chemical safety protocols for laboratory operations to manage high-hazard operations that might include explosives, select carcinogens, highly reactive materials, and other particularly hazardous substances. Serve as an emergency responder participating in the on-call schedule and provide leadership in any incidents or exposures involving chemicals in the research setting. Ensure EHSS staff have the appropriate technical and required training. Collaborate with VUMC, Vanderbilt University Public Safety, and VU Facilities to develop effective emergency response plans for VU laboratories.


Supervisory Relationships:
You will supervise four professional staff and student interns and may take lead with a team of peers both within and across functions on specific projects. You’ll report administratively and functionally to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of EHSS.



  • A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, environmental engineering or health, chemistry, industrial hygiene, safety, or other related technical specialty is required. A master’s degree is strongly preferred. Certification as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) is preferred. 8+ years of related experience with at least 2+ years in a supervisory role is required. 10+ years of experience, including some portion in the university research/laboratory environment, strongly preferred. Advanced skills in Microsoft and Adobe products such as Teams, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Captivate, Articulate, Oracle, or database skills are a plus. Advanced data management, analytical, quantitative, technical, and problem-solving skills. Relational database experience preferred. Quickly learn and adapt. Successfully plan and execute multitask and multi-project requirements and deliverables to meet objectives and deadlines. Must have strong interpersonal communication and customer service skills. Building and maintaining effective respectful and working relationships in a service-oriented environment with a diverse range of people and understanding their needs and goals. Exhibit sensitivity, tact, inclusion, and respect for diversity. Ability to working effectively with others as a team as opposed to working separately or competitively. Understanding and appreciating different and opposing perspectives on an issue.


Apply Now:


Or contact:

Jennifer Knapp
Lead Talent Acquisition Consultant, Human Resources



In addition to a 403(b) retirement plan and tuition assistance for you and your dependents, Vanderbilt is pleased to offer a comprehensive and flexible benefits package for you and your family.


Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive.


As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.


Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.


Please note: All candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include, but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.


About Us

At Vanderbilt University, our work — regardless of title or role — is in service to an important and noble mission in which every member of our community serves in advancing knowledge and transforming lives daily.


Vanderbilt is proud to have been named one of “America’s Best Large Employers,” as well as a top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area by Forbes for several years running. We welcome those who are interested in learning and growing professionally with an employer that strives to create, foster, and sustain opportunities as an employer of choice through:


  • Working and growing together as a community of communities. We are One Vanderbilt. Providing a work environment where every staff and faculty member can be their authentic and best self while providing the resources and opportunities to learn and grow. Encouraging development, collaboration, and partnership both internally and externally while fostering the value that every member of the Vanderbilt community can lead and grow regardless of title or position.



We understand you can choose where to work and pursue a career. We understand you are unique and have a story. We want to hear it. We encourage you to apply today so that you might become a part of our story.


Apply Now:


Or contact:

Jennifer Knapp
Lead Talent Acquisition Consultant, Human Resources


Vanderbilt University has made the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and our surrounding communities a top priority. As part of that commitment, the University requires all employees to (1) participate in any required on-campus COVID-19 testing protocol as may then be in effect, or (2) show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.







In 1819, the University of Virginia established a new model for intellectual exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education. Two hundred years later, as a major research institution, we continue to challenge conventions, lead with ingenuity and advance knowledge for the common good.

What began as an innovative idea has become one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with over 21,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UVA also has over 3,000 full-time faculty offering more than 400 degrees.

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