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Christine Baker, Director of Industrial Relations

Christine Baker, Director of Industrial Relations

Christine Baker is the first woman to serve as director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

Ms. Baker is renowned for innovative targeting in fighting fraud and the underground economy. Her experience comes from working with labor and management as chief of the Division of Labor Statistics and Research (1984-89), the deputy director for the Division of Workers’ Compensation (1990-94), and the executive officer of the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation from its inception in 1994 until April 2011. During her tenure as executive officer, the commission’s role expanded to overseeing the health, safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and recommending administrative and legislative changes for improvement. In April 2011, Christine was named acting director of DIR and was appointed director by Gov. Brown in December. The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to confirm her appointment in May 2012.

As director, Christine serves as the state administrator of Apprenticeship, the administrator of the state OSHA Plan, an ex officio member of the California Self-Insurers’ Security Fund and an ex officio member of the State Fund board of directors.

Ms. Baker is president-elect of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions (IAIABC), and has chaired the California Insurance Commissioner’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Focus Group and the advisory committee of the International Forum on Disability Management.

Ms. Baker is the recipient of numerous awards. Small Business California recognized Christine as one of its 2008 Small Business Heroes. In 2012, she received the Human Rights Award from the League of United Latin American Citizens.

The Department of Industrial Relations, which she now heads, improves working conditions for California’s wage earners, and advances opportunities for profitable employment. DIR divisions include Cal/OSHA, the Labor Commissioner’s Office, the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards and six boards, commissions and programs. DIR is a department within the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency.

Ms. Baker earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. candidacy at the School of Education, University of California, Berkeley. She resides in Berkeley.