New EHS Director Wants to Talk

Woman leaning on rail.

Terri Bray, director, Environment, Health, and Safety Directorate. Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.

By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

Terri Bray believes that talking to people is the only way to find out what they need to accomplish their goals in a safe and secure environment.

“I would like to start an open dialog and conversation about safety and safety culture,” said Bray, who joined Leidos Biomedical Research in December 2013 as the director of the Environment, Health, and Safety Directorate (EHS). “No one wants to see ourselves, our family and friends, or our co‐workers injured. So let’s talk about what we can realistically do to prevent injuries and work‐related illnesses.”

Bray looks forward to learning more about the research mission of Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) and understanding how EHS can facilitate the mission. “That means that I want to talk to as many folks as I can about the important work they do, how they accomplish their work safely, and what EHS can do to support that work,” she said.

Bray is no stranger to this challenge. She brings 20 years’ experience in operations and engineering management at Argonne National Laboratory, where, for the past 6 years, she was deputy director of the Environment, Safety and Health, and Quality Assurance Division. In this role, she was instrumental in reducing the rate and severity of injuries by establishing laboratory-wide process and safety culture improvement initiatives.

Earlier roles at Argonne included serving as deputy director in the Nuclear Operations Division, as well as holding a number of managerial positions in the Energy Technology Division.

“Helping others is what makes me tick.”

Bray said she was immediately drawn to the enthusiasm of Leidos Biomed staff members and their dedication to “focusing on a mission for the greater good,” qualities that resonate with her personal dedication to helping people.

“Helping others is what makes me tick, whether that help is given directly or indirectly,” she said, and she appreciates the opportunity to be a part of FNLCR “by providing EHS‐related services, tools, and support necessary to achieve the research mission.”

Bray thrives on helping others, both on and off the job. Her daughter, 12, and son, 9, are both active in sports and in the community, and Bray is right there with them. “When I’m not helping my daughter’s Girl Scout troop work on community service projects or taking her to a book store or library,” she said, “I can probably be found on some soccer field sideline, watching my son play.” She says she has even coached one of her son’s teams to victory in local and regional soccer tournaments.

Even her hobbies are centered around helping others. She has used her interest in photography to enhance websites for soccer teams and Girl Scouts. “And when I have time, which is not often enough, I can be found making quilts, usually for gifts or a few children’s homes that my mother and I help support,” she said.

“Walking the Talk”

Bray said she is thrilled to be part of the community here, and she looks forward to getting to know the people and continuing to improve the safety programs at FNLCR. “Our vision and mission relate to helping ensure the health and well-being of all of mankind,” she noted, “so I think it’s only appropriate to ‘walk the talk’ and do what we can to protect our own health and well-being … whether at work or at home.”

She wants to know what you think. “Please know that I have an open door,” she said, “and welcome any and all feedback, comments, questions, or concerns that you have.”

Originally from Kansas, Bray holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Kansas State University, a master’s in nuclear engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master of business administration specializing in operations management from DePaul University. She was a 2010 nominee for “Woman of the Year” for the National Association of Professional Women.                                              

She is settling into her new home in Urbana with her husband, mother, and children.

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