Kathleen Rest

Executive director

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As executive director of UCS, Dr. Kathleen Rest leads the organization, overseeing programs and operations, drawing upon a wealth of experience in government, academia, and the nonprofit sector to help guide the organization on issues ranging from climate change to global security. See Kathleen's full bio.

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Kathleen's Latest Posts

Worker Memorial Day: 13 Workplace Fatalities Occur Every Day in the United States

Amidst the groundswell of information, energy, and genuine excitement around last week’s March for Science and the upcoming People’s Climate March, there’s another global and national event that should not get lost in the mix.

This one relates to workers—you know, those dedicated and hardy souls that are the backbone of what makes America great. Read more >

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The Trump Administration and Children’s Health: An Early Progress Report

Parents are used to getting progress reports on how their children are doing—from teachers at school and from health care providers who assess developmental milestones. Early indicators are important; they can identify problems early, trigger needed interventions, or provide welcome assurance that things are looking good.

The news has been full of what President Trump has been doing in the first 90 days of his administration. Let’s do a quick progress report on what he’s done for children’s health. Read more >

Photo: Petra Bensted/CC BY (Flickr)
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Plant makes racing fuels, lacquer thinners and metal working fuels. Smoke can be seen for over a dozen miles after a series of explosions at a Mason chemical factory in 2010. Photo: Dragonflylady CC BY 2.0 (Flickr).

Another Delay of Chemical Safety Rule Is Dangerous and Unwarranted

Last week was just chock full of setbacks and assaults on our public protections coming out of Washington. You’ve probably heard about President Trump’s all-out attack on climate policy; EPA Administrator Pruitt got right on it.  No surprise there.  Then there was EPA’s decision not to ban a pesticide clearly linked to serious and long-term developmental effects on children’s brains and cognitive function.  But you may not have noticed another harmful decision coming out of the EPA – this one about its Risk Management Program (RMP) rule.

Read more >

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The Safety of Coal Miners—and Every Worker in America—Is at Risk

States are clearly emboldened by the anti-regulatory, industry-first furor coming from the White House and Congress, a furor that could affect your workplace as well. Read more >

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Protecting our nation’s workforce is not a partisan issue. If this president and this Congress say they stand with America’s workers, then it’s time to give meaning to those words.

Will Congress Turn Its Back on the Safety of America’s Workers?

Update (April 4, 12:45 p.m.): It’s official. Another loss for America’s workers. Yesterday President Trump put the finishing touches on congressional efforts to overturn a decades-long and critical element of protecting our nation’s workforce. He signed the resolution that now permanently removes the ability of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to cite employers with a pattern of record keeping violations related to workplace injuries and illnesses. Yes, permanently, because it was passed under the Congressional Review Act. This action is a gift to unscrupulous employers and a true blow to worker safety and health.

Update (March 22, 6:20 p.m.): Senate votes. Workers lose. On a straight party line vote, the Senate just repealed OSHA’s rule clarifying an employer’s obligation to maintain accurate records of serious injuries. According to the Congressional Review Act, the rule is now and forever gone unless Congress tells the agency to write it again–and there is fat chance of that happening anytime soon. This is a sad day for U.S. workers; another safeguard gone.


Let’s say someone you care about—mother, father, wife, husband, partner, son, daughter, friend, and neighbor—works in a facility that’s had a history of serious injuries or illnesses. You know, like burns, amputations, and broken bones that happen at work. Or head, eye, or back injuries. Or problems that send workers to emergency rooms, clinics, or doctors with breathing difficulties, skin damage, or other health issues related to chemical exposures or other dangerous conditions at work.  Read more >

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