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Assistant Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety and Chief Safety Officer, Arizona State University

David Gillum is the Assistant Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety at Arizona State University. As the Chief Safety Officer for ASU, Mr. Gillum has safety oversight responsibilities for nearly 2,500 laboratories, shops, studios and makerspaces that use biological agents, chemicals, radiological materials, lasers, x-rays and other hazardous materials. Mr. Gillum is the ASU Responsible Official for the Federal Biological Select Agent and Toxin Program.

Mr. Gillum was the 2020 President of ABSA International. In 2019, Mr. Gillum was presented with a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Directors Community Leadership Award by Director Christopher Wray in Washington D.C.

Mr. Gillum co-founded the Arizona Biosafety Alliance (AZBA), an ABSA-affiliate, and served as President, Past-President, and Treasurer of the organization. In 2015, Mr. Gillum established a partnership with ASU in Mexico and AMEXBIO to support biosafety collaborations within Mexico and other Central and South American countries.

Mr. Gillum's service includes contributions as Associate Editor of Applied Biosafety and a past judge at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition. Mr. Gillum's academic interests include biosafety, biosecurity and the future of synthetic biology, gene editing, and gene drives, and how members of the public can have an active voice in the future of these technologies. Mr. Gillum has presented at dozens of conferences regarding emerging biotechnologies and has written scientific articles that have been published in Science, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, and Applied Biosafety.

Mr. Gillum has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a master’s degree in Environmental Health Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Mr. Gillum has over 25 years of experience leading safety and compliance activities at several different academic, research, teaching and public service institutions.


  • –present
    Senior Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Chief Safety Officer, Arizona State University