Wayne E. Veneman, who directed the office of information and public affairs for the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration from 1978 to 1998, died Sept. 30 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He was 72.

The cause was complications from vascular surgery, said his daughter, Katherine Veneman.

While at the Mine Safety and Health Administration, Mr. Veneman also took assignments with the Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, helping provide public information and media relations education for newly democratized governments throughout Eastern Europe in the early 1990s.

After retiring, he was a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank and the Labor Department.

Wayne Edward Veneman was a native of Evansville, Ind., and a 1963 history graduate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Early in his career, he worked in public relations for the Interior Department, starting at the U.S. Bureau of Mines in 1964 and later for the U.S. Geological Survey.

He was a Bethesda resident.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Joyce Powell Veneman of Bethesda; and a daughter, Katherine Veneman of Houston.

— Victoria St. Martin