The State Worker

Jerry Brown makes key state personnel appointments

CalHR Director Richard Gillihan
CalHR Director Richard Gillihan CalPERS courtesy photo

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday appointed Richard Gillihan to head the California Department of Human Resources, where he has served in an acting role since February.

Gillihan, 46, took over after Julie Chapman suddenly stepped down amid criticism that the department lacked leadership. His appointment broke a chain of CalHR chiefs who were labor insiders or bureaucrats who had come up through the department in favor of a technology expert and fiscal manager from the Department of Finance.

Gillihan’s 20-year state career started with the California Youth Authority, where he worked in a variety of computer programming and tech jobs.

In 2002 he moved to the Department of Finance and climbed the ladder from assistant program budget manager to chief of information technology operations and consulting.

He now officially takes over a department tasked with modernizing California’s state civil service, the nation’s largest, by changing everything from the forms employees use for reporting their time to its Internet job portal. The director also sits on the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The position pays $167,000 per year and requires Senate confirmation.

Brown also named Steve Satake as labor relations officer for the department. Satake has worked in labor relations at the Franchise Tax Board since last year. Before that, he held several personnel and labor-relations positions at Caltrans from 2006 to 2013 and was a claims adjuster at the State Compensation Insurance Fund from 2004 to 2007.

His new job pays $84,720 per year and does not require Senate confirmation.

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