After months of the occupational safety and health community waiting, Governor Gavin Newsom has finally named a new Cal/OSHA Chief. Douglas Parker is his name. Parker, 50, has been the executive director of the Oakland worker advocacy group Worksafe since 2016.
Parker is an attorney and has a long resume in democrat politics, and more recently, occupational safety and health. He is a former assistant to the late Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone, then worked in press operations for the Democratic National Committee before and during the Clinton administration. He was a staff attorney for the United Mine Workers of America in the late 1990s, and during most of the 2000s was a partner at the Mooney, Green, Baker & Saindon law firm.
Starting in 2009, he was named a senior policy advisor and special assistant at the Mine Safety and Health Administration and served as assistant secretary of labor for MSHA from 2014 to 2015.
Parker attended the University of Virginia School of Law. He was admitted to the California bar in 2016.
He replaces Juliann Sum, who retired earlier this year. He beat out two strong internal candidates, including Process Safety Management Unit manager Clyde Trombettas, and Deputy Chief for Enforcement Debra Lee. Parker’s salary is $176,004. The appointment requires Senate confirmation.