Michael J. Silverman

Director, Office of Environmental Protection and ES&H Reporting

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Dr. Michael (Josh) Silverman is Director of the Office of Environmental Protection and ES&H Reporting, within the Department of Energy’s Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU). 

Dr. Silverman leads an innovative organization focused on reducing DOE’s environmental footprint and preparing it for the impacts of a changing environment.  His portfolio includes programs covering environmental compliance, sustainable operations, and natural and cultural resource protection.  He is also engaged in public and environmental radiation protection, organizational/safety culture, and reporting and analysis of a wide range of ES&H metrics. 

His significant accomplishments include helping DOE sites eliminate millions of metric tons of CO2e by cutting releases of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), the world’s most potent greenhouse gas; creating a new green purchasing awards program to incentivize adoption of sustainable products and services; playing a leading role in the global green electronics movement; and working to integrate changing environmental factors into DOE’s operational risk planning processes.    

In 2013, Dr. Silverman was a finalist in the Partnership for Public Service’s prestigious "Service to America Medal" awards program, and his work on SF6 reduction was profiled in the New York Times and Washington Post.  In 2015, he was recognized with the “Purchaser Leadership Award” from the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, for creating DOE’s GreenBuy Program; he received a “Champion” Award from the Green Electronics Council, for successful efforts to heal a fractured coalition of stakeholders; and was part of a “Climate Champion” team award recognized by the White House GreenGov Awards Program. 

Dr. Silverman joined DOE in 2000, after receiving his Ph.D. in History and Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  His dissertation, “No Immediate Risk: Environmental Safety in American Nuclear Weapons Production,” examines how DOE managed environment, safety, and health risks from World War II through the end of the Cold War.  He helped establish a new program to compensate nuclear weapons plant workers for occupational illnesses before moving into the environmental and sustainability arena.