We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Daniel Oerther as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. He will take over from Terenja Humphries when her term comes to a close in December.
A Fellow of CIEH for five years, Oerther currently serves as a Professor of Environmental Health Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Before being elected to the role of Board Chair, he had previously been the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Bringing a wealth of experience in environmental health practice internationally, Professor Oerther has built a global reputation for advocating science and technology as a practical solution to promote human health and to protect the environment for future generations.
Using innovation to solve complex environmental challenges has always been a major theme in Daniel’s projects. Beyond promoting sustainable fishing and agricultural practices for nutrition security, he also works to promote access to water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Professor Oerther’s commitment to global environmental health was showcased by his work to improve conditions for infants and mothers in the indigenous Ladino population in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. His project, using data analytics to assess the effectiveness of water and food safety interventions to prevent childhood stunting, saw him recognized with a CIEH Excellence Award in 2018 for Best Innovative Environmental Health Solution.
He is also passionate about promoting environmental stewardship in disadvantaged communities and highlighting the role environmental health professionals have in making all communities healthier and safer. This drive to nurture culturally diverse and inclusive environments has seen him partner and work closely with university researchers in London, community health nurses in Hull, and civil engineers in Newcastle.
Along with a recognition of the high standards and value of environmental health professionals in the UK, Professor Oerther’s work across the Commonwealth led him to seek professional recognition in this country, where he is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and a Fellow of the Society of Operations Engineers. Daniel is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). In 2019, he was recognised with an appointment as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to the School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences at King’s College London.
In his home state of Missouri, Professor Oerther practices as a Certified Environmental Health Specialist (similar to an Environmental Health Officer), and he was appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate as a Commissioner on the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission. Daniel is also a Diplomate of the American Academy of Sanitarians, a lifetime Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and he is the immediate Past President of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.
Professor Oerther will officially take up his new role on 1 January 2023.
Professor Daniel Oerther, CIEH Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees, said:
“Since the time of Chadwick, sanitary practice has benefitted from a global outlook supporting evidence-based local enforcement. Chadwick, Snow, Nightingale, and Bazalgette worked side-by-side to solve the sanitary challenges of urban London, and lessons of their leadership crossed the Atlantic to improve lives in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and beyond.
Today, the world faces the challenge of a changing climate where environmental health professionals must balance human safety with planetary survival. I joined CIEH to learn from and contribute to the best of the best in local practice while maintaining a global outlook.
The unique contributions of environmental health officers must be amplified. Awareness of our work must reverberate from the walls of the homes we visit and the kitchens we inspect to the halls of Parliament, across the Atlantic, and around the globe.”
Dr Phil James, Chief Executive of CIEH, said:
“We are delighted that Daniel will be taking the vital role of Chair of our Board. His commitment to environmental health, and enthusiasm for new and innovative solutions is infectious, and I know he will bring invaluable energy right to the top of our organisation.
His rich and varied experience across the world will be a valuable asset to CIEH.
We are all looking forward to working with him in his new role as we continue in our efforts to secure the future of our profession and champion the vital role of our members across the UK.”