WASHINGTON – Homer Swei, Ph.D., a leading private sector research and development expert who most recently led Johnson & Johnson’s product stewardship program, has joined EWG as Senior Vice President of the Healthy Living Science team.
Swei will oversee the team’s groundbreaking research and market change work on chemical ingredients in everyday items like personal care and cleaning products.
He will spearhead the growth of EWG VERIFIED™, EWG’s program that sets rigorous, science-backed standards with a goal of moving the market to answer consumers’ demands for better choices for beauty, personal care, cleaning and baby products.
Swei has more than 30 years of experience working in the private sector. For the last 20 years, he worked for Johnson & Johnson, including the last six years as Global Director for Product Stewardship. In that role, he led the company’s product and governance policies, stakeholder engagement and ingredient transparency for a range of products, including its flagship baby, beauty and period product lines, among others.
“It is not every day that someone with Homer’s deep understanding and expertise of the personal care industry, and how it approaches consumer health and safety, makes the move from the private sector to the public interest advocacy world,” said EWG President and co-founder Ken Cook.
“We could not be more pleased Homer will be leading our brilliant team of scientists to build on EWG’s more than 30 years of work to bring the safest and cleanest products to those consumers concerned about protecting themselves and their families,” Cook said.
During his career, Swei has devoted a considerable amount of time and effort advocating for industry stewardship and extended transparency with regards to chemical ingredients in personal care products, including those use in fragrances. In 2020, he joined the board of directors of the U.S.-based Fragrance Creators Association.
“I have spent my career working to make sure U.S. consumer goods, like personal care products, are the safest, most effective products available anywhere in the world,” said Swei. “During my time in the private sector, I have closely followed the outsized impact EWG’s research and advocacy have had on the marketplace to help companies formulate products that align with that mission, which is why I am thrilled to join the organization that supports smarter ingredients, better products and a healthier future.”
EWG has long urged more transparency from the private sector, including putting public pressure on corporations to not only disclose more ingredient information to consumers, but use safe ingredients in products millions of people use on their skin every day.
Prior to his time at Johnson & Johnson, Swei held similar positions at other companies, including Dow Chemical. He received his bachelor of science’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.