• Press Release

May 18, 2022

Dr. David Steel Named Underwriters Laboratories Standards and Engagement Executive Director

Steel to spearhead newly created nonprofit organization advancing standards development and public advocacy to help solve the world’s biggest safety challenges

David K. SteelNORTHBROOK, Ill. – May 18, 2022 – Global safety science leader Underwriters Laboratories Inc. today announced the appointment of Dr. David Steel as the first executive director of the newly formed Standards and Engagement organization.

Steel will lead Underwriters Laboratories Standards and Engagement activities, including its ongoing development of safety standards. Working with the board of directors and leadership team, Steel will establish a comprehensive strategic vision and operating plan that incorporates the organization’s expanded advocacy mission. In this role, he also will guide the organization’s efforts to develop policy partnerships and campaigns focused on improving human health and safety.

Underwriters Laboratories announced the establishment of the Standards and Engagement organization in February 2022 as part of a new $1.8 billion commitment to address increasingly complex public safety risks and strengthen the impact of its safety science mission. Steel’s selection came after a robust global search for the leader of this new organization.

“Underwriters Laboratories has a long history of transformative standards development leadership,” Steel said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to build on that legacy of public service and forge new partnerships to strengthen our impact on global safety science. By mobilizing and working alongside new and existing stakeholders, we can accelerate lasting solutions for a safer, more sustainable, and secure society.”

“For more than a century, Underwriters Laboratories has set the bar for safety science research and standards development,” said Terrence R. Brady, president and CEO of the Underwriters Laboratories Research organization and board chair of the Underwriters Laboratories Standards and Engagement organization. “Our new Standards and Engagement organization allows us the privilege of expanding the scope and scale of our efforts. A leader of Dr. David Steel’s caliber will help take our advocacy work to the next level. His deep expertise in building new and ongoing collaborations with stakeholders will further our mission of working for a safer world, and I am delighted to welcome him to our executive team.”

Steel spent more than two decades in senior roles at Samsung Electronics, most recently as executive vice president and head of corporate affairs for the United States. Other Samsung roles he has held include head of global communications and vice president of global marketing for the digital media business.

Steel holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Oxford University, where he graduated with first-class honors; a doctorate in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and an MBA from University of Chicago. He also spent a year as an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University.

He is a member of the Paralympic Advisory Council of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee.

For more information, visit UL.org.

About the Underwriters Laboratories Standards and Engagement Organization

The Standards and Engagement organization is a nonprofit standards development and advocacy organization that translates data from safety science into practical, action-oriented safety standards. We convene experts worldwide and serve as a vital resource for regulators and policymakers. As a part of our public outreach activities, we share knowledge, advance safety policy partnerships, and advocate for standards and regulations that result in positive safety changes.


Mimi Bhattacharyya
Director of Strategic Communications
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.


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