Worker Health and Safety Program Director

Washington, D.C. Office

Areas of Expertise

Worker Safety and Health, Workers' Compensation


Debbie Berkowitz, NELP’s Worker Safety and Health program director, joined NELP in 2015, following six years serving as chief of staff and then a senior policy adviser for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (2009-2015).

Debbie has a long record of achievement in the field of occupational safety and health. Her past positions include health and safety director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and the health and safety director of the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

Since she joined our team, Debbie has led NELP’s efforts to strengthen federal and state worker safety and health protections, as well as state workers’ compensation laws. She is the author of widely cited NELP reports on improving worker safety and workers’ compensation systems. Debbie works with national and state partners to develop successful policies and campaigns that improve conditions for vulnerable, low-wage workers in dangerous industries, including temporary workers and those in the meat, poultry, and food industry.

Debbie is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Public Health Association’s Alice Hamilton Award.


B.A., Oberlin College

Quoted In

Debbie’s writing has been published in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Bloomberg BNA, Workers’ Compensation, Quartz, The Hill, the Huffington Post, and more, and she is regularly quoted by major news outlets for her expertise on worker safety and health.

Authored: With OSHA as an Employer Advice Columnist, States and Cities Should Protect Workers from COVID-19, Morning Consult, 10/11/20

See Publications
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