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ASSP Appoints Bell as Board’s New Public Director

Jul 01, 2024

PARK RIDGE, IL — The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) welcomed a new member to its leadership team on July 1. The Board of Directors appointed Philip K. Bell to a three-year term as the Society’s public director – a volunteer board position created in 2015 to gain a corporate perspective from outside the occupational safety and health profession. Bell is also a trustee of the ASSP Foundation, the Society’s charitable arm, in his dual leadership role.

“Philip’s leadership and business experience will help inform decisions as we implement our new strategic plan,” said ASSP President Pam Walaski, CSP, FASSP. “His strong business acumen and unwavering commitment to workplace safety and health closely align with our organizational culture.”

Bell is president of the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), based in Washington, D.C. He counsels the U.S. government as a member of the Department of Commerce International Trade Advisory Committee on Steel (ITAC 11). He advises the Department of Commerce and Office of the United States Trade Representative on international trade-related matters that benefit U.S. businesses, workers and the economy.

“I’m eager to help ASSP achieve its mission of advancing worker safety and health in every industry worldwide,” Bell said. “I respect the Society’s leadership approach of involving different viewpoints, and I look forward to contributing my perspectives to board discussions.”

A 30-year industry veteran, Bell has held executive-level positions in operations, human resources and public affairs. Prior to leading SMA, Bell was director of external communications and public affairs for Gerdau North America in Tampa, FL. He is on the board of directors of the American Society of Association Executives and serves on the Council of Manufacturing Associations board of advisers at the National Association of Manufacturing. He also is a member of the Association for Iron & Steel Technology.

Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and holds a master’s degree in global strategic communications from the University of Florida. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Bethesda, MD, and Riverview, FL.

Bell is only the fourth person to serve as ASSP public director since the position was created nearly a decade ago, replacing former Alaska Tanker CEO Anil Mathur, whose term ended June 30.

ASSP’s 10-member Board of Directors consists of an elected president, president-elect, senior vice president, vice president of finance and four directors-at-large, as well as CEO Jennifer McNelly and an appointed public director. The board’s responsibilities include overseeing the Society’s annual budget and executing a five-year strategic plan that was adopted in 2023.

About ASSP – Working together for a safer, stronger future
Since 1911, the American Society of Safety Professionals has helped occupational safety and health professionals protect people, property and the environment. The nonprofit society is based in Chicago’s suburbs. Its global membership of over 35,000 professionals develops safety and health management systems that prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. ASSP advances its members and the safety profession by providing member communities, serving as a trusted advisor, and elevating safety through workforce development. Its flagship journal, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit and find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media contact: Blaine Krage, 847.768.3416,

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