News Release USDA 96-522
Friday, December 20, 1996
Contact: Stephen Gaskill, (202) 219-6091
Statement Of Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary Of Labor For Occupational
Safety And Health
(Dear today announced that he is resigning as head of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) to become chief of staff to the governor-elect of Washington.)
I am tremendously excited by the challenge of helping Governor-elect Gary Locke
achieve his vision for the State of Washington. As his chief of staff, I will have a wide scope of
responsibility to help achieve the Governor's goals and make state government work better for
people. I hope to bring the lessons I learned about reinvention at OSHA to the state level.
I will be eternally grateful to President Clinton, Vice President Gore and Secretary Reich
for the privilege and honor of serving as assistant secretary at OSHA. I leave my colleagues and
friends at OSHA with profound gratitude and appreciation for their dedication and commitment.
Together, we've been able to set a new direction for OSHA. We survived some dark days when
the agency's future was in doubt. Today, the agency is stronger and more focused on its mission.
It is more open to new ideas and better ways of working. I will always cherish the opportunity I
had to help OSHA fulfill the great promise that the Occupational Safety and Health Act makes to
America's working men and women: that their hard work should never be at the expense of their
health and safety.
When I came to OSHA nearly four years ago, I had expected that one term would be
enough. Although there are many compelling reasons to stay on at OSHA, I found that the offer
Governor-elect Locke made was an opportunity I could not turn down. I am very happy that I
will be able to return with my family to our home in the Pacific Northwest.