Sharon McGuinness, Ph.D., Announced as ECHA's Executive Director

Sharon McGuinness, Ph.D., executive director of ECHA
Sharon McGuinness, Ph.D., executive director of ECHA
Courtesy of ECHA

The management board of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has selected Sharon McGuinness, Ph.D., as its executive director. McGuinness has been the CEO of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland since 2018.

Prior to this, she was the assistant chief executive for the Chemicals and Prevention Division within the HSA, where she was responsible for division management, policy provision, advice and enforcement. She also was a member of ECHA’s management board between 2014-2020, and chair of the board between 2016-2020. 

“Congratulations to Sharon—we have selected an excellent candidate and look forward to hearing the European Parliament’s views," said Paul Krajnik, chair of ECHA’s management board. "The new executive director will play an instrumental role for the agency, which enters a crucial time in its work, marked by the EU’s ambitious objectives under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability."

McGuinness was one of the candidates preselected by the European Commission after an open competition. Her election follows Bjorn Hansen's retirement in March 2022. Since April 2022, Shay O’Malley has been ECHA’s acting executive director.

The term of office of the executive director is five years, which may be prolonged once by the management board.

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