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James R. Thornton

James R. Thornton, CSP, CIH, FASSP, FAIHA, became the Society’s president-elect on July 1, 2022, after concluding his year as senior vice president. He will become president in 2023-24.

Thornton is president of consulting firm Alpha Industries LLC and previously directed safety and health for 40 years at Huntington Ingalls Industries, the nation’s largest military shipbuilder.

Thornton has been an ASSP member since 1998, and was named an ASSP Fellow in 2020 for his significant contributions to the occupational safety and health profession. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University and a master’s degree in industrial hygiene from Texas A&M University.

At Huntington Ingalls Industries, Thornton led the creation of primary healthcare centers for families of maritime workers that serve more than 60,000 people. He has given ASSP a strong presence in Washington, D.C. through his extensive work in government affairs. Thornton received the Society’s President’s Award and is a two-time recipient of the Charles V. Culbertson Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. He also taught occupational safety and health courses at two colleges in Virginia.

Thornton chaired the OSHA Maritime Advisory Committee for Safety and Health and is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Labor Distinguished Service Impact Award for his work with OSHA. He resides in Hampton, VA.