Governor Newsom announced Doug Parker as the new Chief of Cal/OSHA. He will follow Juliann Sum who retired earlier this year. I think Juliann did a wonderful job leading Cal/OSHA and it was a disappointment to hear her announcement of retirement at the end of 2018. She continued to work for a few months in 2019, but finally ended her transition by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Cal/OSHA has been without leadership since her departure.
Many outsiders thought the new Chief would come from within Cal/OSHA, such as Debra Lee, who has served as the Deputy Chief, but Governor Newsom saw otherwise. Since 2016, Mr. Parker was the director of Worksafe, a labor organization. His familiarity with occupational health and safety is unknown to me, but Worksafe was always well represented at every Cal/OSHA meeting I attended.
According to the Cal/OSHA Reporter, Mr. Parker is an attorney who “has a long resume in democrat politics.” He is a former assistant to Senator Wellstone, Minnesota; he worked in press operations for the Democrat National Committee before and during the Clinton administration; was a staff attorney for the United Mine Workers of America; and, a partner at a law firm that “represents unions in the public and private sector.” What directions Mr. Parker will take Cal/OSHA are to be seen.