The Biden administration has nominated West Virginia native Christopher Williamson for assistant secretary for mine safety and health at the U.S. Department of Labor.
Williamson, who will replace David Zatezalo if his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, currently serves as the senior counsel to Chairman Lauren McFerran at the National Labor Relations Board.
Prior to his current seat, he was a member of senior leadership for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), advising the assistant secretary on agency policy, operations and communications.
Williamson was also a Senate labor counsel to Tom Harkin on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and as a legislative assistant to Senator Joe Manchin. He advised chairman Harkin and committee members on labor, occupational and mine safety and health, and black lung benefits, Biden’s office said, and was Sen. Manchin’s primary policy advisor on labor, mine safety and health, pensions and agriculture issues.
The new appointee earned a Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University College of Law, a Master of Public Policy from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from West Virginia University.
No date for Williamson’s confirmation has been released.
A proud Appalachian and native of the coalfields of southern West Virginia, Christopher Williamson currently serves as senior counsel to Chairman Lauren McFerran of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Prior to joining the NLRB, he served in the Obama-Biden administration at the U.S. Department of Labor as a member of the senior leadership team at the Mine Safety and Healthy Administration (MSHA).
In that role, he advised the Assistant Secretary for MSHA on all aspects of agency policy, operations, and communications. Before his service at MSHA, Williamson worked in the United States Senate as labor counsel to former Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and as a legislative assistant to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
As labor counsel, he advised Chairman Harkin and committee members on labor, occupational and mine safety and health, black lung benefits and other workers’ compensation issues. Serving on Sen. Manchin’s legislative team, Williamson was the senator’s primary policy advisor on labor, mine safety and health, pensions, and agriculture issues and also advised him on energy and environmental policy, including Sen. Manchin’s work on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Williamson began his career in public service as an attorney- advisor to Administrative Law Judge Jacqueline R. Bulluck at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. He earned a Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University College of Law, a Master of Public Policy from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from West Virginia University.
Williamson is originally from Dingess in Mingo County, W.Va., and currently resides with his wife and children in Crofton, Md.