Safety & Operational Excellence Leader

Date: Jun 19, 2024

Location: Columbia, MD, US, 21044

Company: W. R. Grace & Co.


Requisition ID: 23183

Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials. The company’s two industry-leading business segments—Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies—provide innovative products, technologies, and services that enhance the products and processes of our customers around the world. Grace employs approximately 4,300 people in over 30 countries.


Job Description

Grace has an exciting opportunity for a Safety and Operational Excellence Leader within the Operational Risk and EHSSQ Assurance organization. This role, reporting to the Director of Global Operational Risk and EHSSQ Assurance, will be responsible to lead transformational safety culture change throughout W. R. Grace’s global operations in pursuit of Operational Excellence. The preferred location for this position will be Grace’s Global Headquarters in Columbia, MD; however, for internal Grace candidates this role can be located at another Grace site. This will be a highly visible position within the corporate Global Operations and EHSSQ function, engaging all levels within the organization.


  • Develop the company’s Operational Excellence Culture Program to improve and sustain environmental, health, and safety (EHS) performance consistent with Grace’s Goal Zero strategy.
  • Lead Grace’s effort to identify, assess, and implement action plans across Grace assets worldwide to improve safety culture throughout the organization.
  • Coordinate internal and third-party cultural assessments, including initial and follow up assessments.
  • Assist Grace’s Operations and EHSSQ organizations in execution of cultural improvement action plans through coaching, mentoring, and development of site-level safety leadership skills.  
  • Track cultural improvement action plans and lead periodic update assessments to verify progress.
  • Develop long-term assurance programs to evaluate and identify cultural weaknesses for continuous improvement.
  • Identify opportunities to enhance critical life safety programs for managing risk and improve operating behavior and discipline.
  • Provide support and expertise to change Grace’s conduct of operations and EHSS/Responsible Care® management systems.
  • Develop and share lessons learned from cultural assessment activities.
  • Periodically report cultural assessment progress, including follow up actions, to Grace senior leadership.
  • Develop and deliver training for Grace sites/organizations to enhance leadership competency and skills related to safety culture and operational behaviors.
  • Proactively build strategic partnerships with operations, functional, business, and regional leaders.
  • Work with Grace’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence to support projects for improving operating discipline.
  • Hold self and others to the highest standard for operational conduct and operating discipline.
  • Periodically participate in other EHSSQ Assurance activities, such as integrated audits/assessments.
  • Leads and supports other EHSS improvement projects as assigned by management.

Required Qualifications

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, Environmental Engineering/Science, Safety Management, or similar.
  • Experience in improvement project planning and execution.
  • Experience with industry leading operational excellence management systems.
  • 20+ years of operational, EHSS or other similar manufacturing related experience, with at least 10 years being in chemical plants, refineries, or similar operations.
  • Travel 40-60%. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience managing operational, EHS or similar organizations within chemical plants, refineries, or similar manufacturing settings.
  • Experience with cultural assessment tools and methods.


  • Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
  • Life Insurance and Disability
  • Grace Wellness Program
  • Flexible Workplace
  • Retirement Plans 
  • 401(k) Company Match – Dollar to dollar up to the first 6%
  • Paid Vacation and Holidays
  • Parental Leave (salaried only)
  • Tuition Reimbursement


U.S. Employee Benefits Summary (



Grace is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. Please, no phone calls or emails. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Grace via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Grace. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Grace as a result of the referral or through other means.


EOE Statement:  W. R. Grace & Co. is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status or any other legally protected status.


If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you may request a reasonable accommodation.

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