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Michaels, Barab to stay on at OSHA

Solis' replacement still unknown

OSHAOSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab ended some speculation late last month when he announced that he and agency head Dr. David Michaels will remain at their posts.

At a Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy roundtable, Barab announced that he and Michaels would remain in their positions for the second Obama term.

Michaels had previously expressed a desire to stay on at the agency in order to move long-overdue rules forward. (Click here for details on OSHA's upcoming rulemaking agenda.) An epidemiologist, he is on a leave from a professorial position at George Washington University.

The resignation of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis last month put the future of Michaels and Barab at OSHA in doubt. OSHA observers noted that Solis’ successor – whoever that may prove to be – will be free to name people to top positions.

Barab was appointed deputy assistant secretary, the second highest-ranking position at the agency, in April ’09. A former policy adviser to the House Education and Labor Committee, Barab also has served with the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Rumored potential replacements for Solis include: former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich; Olena Berg Lacy, assistant labor secretary in the Clinton Administration; Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith; Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris; Maria Echaveste, Clinton's former deputy chief of staff; Carrie Wofford, senior Democratic counsel on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; Rep. DeLauro (D-Conn.); and Arlene Holt Baker, AFL-CIO executive vice president.

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