Oakland, CA – Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), recently announced that Juliann Sum will serve as the Acting Chief of Cal/OSHA. Sum will head the Division of Occupational Safety and Health following the resignation of Ellen Widess. Cal/OSHA is a division of DIR.
Widess expressed her appreciation of the men and women of the Division and their commitment to ensuring workplace safety. She will continue as Special Advisor to Director Baker.
Juliann Sum has worked for over 26 years to help workers understand and exercise their legal rights through numerous educational materials, training workshops, and consultation with legal aid groups that assist low-wage and immigrant workers. She joined DIR in May 2012 as a Special Advisor to Director Baker. Sum served at UC Berkeley from 1994 to 2012 as Project Director with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, and Consulting Attorney and Industrial Hygienist with the Labor Occupational Health Program. Her extensive experience includes work as an Associate Attorney with the Environmental Law Foundation and Industrial Hygienist and Business Representative with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245.
Sum earned a law degree (with honors) from UC Hastings College of the Law, a Master of Science degree in environmental health sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biophysics from Brown University.
“Juliann’s focus will be on prevention – strong enforcement, compliance, outreach and education,” said DIR Director Christine Baker. “I thank Ellen for her dedicated service and look forward to her knowledgeable advice in her new role. I am confident that Juliann’s extensive background and experience will further the Administration’s commitment to a comprehensive Cal/OSHA program.”