An advocate keeping us all safer

February 22, 2022


By Debbie Juniewicz

As fear and uncertainty about COVID-19 took hold in 2020, the Center for Biocide Chemistries stepped forward fielding questions, dispelling misinformation, and working tirelessly with federal and state agencies.

“We were front and center,” CBC executive director Komal Jain, L’95, said, “working with the EPA and CDC, distributing information to the public, being out there and available.”

CBC is the leading trade association representing global manufacturers of biocide products and technologies, also known as antimicrobials, which include disinfectants, material preservatives, and water treatment chemistries. CBC addresses a broad range of scientific, regulatory, legislative, legal, and educational issues pertaining to use of antimicrobials in residential, industrial, and public settings and how they contribute to human health and economic and environmental sustainability.

Jain, who initially came on board as assistant general counsel, was promoted to executive director in 2016.

“Quite often I’m mistaken for someone with a science degree,” Jain said. “For me, the science of chemistry and chemicals was on-the-job training.”

Her passion for the environment has been a guiding force throughout her legal career. As an associate at Keller and Heckman, Jain was part of the environmental team, focusing on compliance and representing Fortune 500 companies. She later worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration. Jain also served as vice chairperson of the State Water Control Board of Virginia under governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

“I actually chose University of Richmond because of the environmental law pathway,” Jain said.

While the scope of her position has expanded, the legal building blocks remain a solid foundation.

“A great majority of my work is in advocacy, so the ability to orate or write about issues is critical,” she said. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for my time at Richmond.”

Jain lives in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Craig Hershberg, G’95, and their children, Reyna and Caden.