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Alumni Spotlight: Jim Sullivan Appointed to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

Alumni Spotlight: Jim Sullivan Appointed to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

July 20, 2017

Jim Sullivan, an LER alum (’77) and former member of the School’s Alumni (APG) Board, was appointed by President Trump to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) in May 16, 2017. He is currently awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation and hopes to be sworn in to his new position in the near future. OSHRC is an independent agency that adjudicates contested citations between employers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration through administrative trials and appellate review.  Jim, a graduate of Georgetown Law School and a current member of the Cozen O’Connor’s Law Firm's Labor & Employment Section, will be one of three Commissioners.

During his 37-year career, Jim's law practice has focused on labor and employment law, including workplace safety and health matters. He recently completed a three-year term as the management co-chair of the American Bar Association's Committee on Occupational Safety & Health Law and has practiced law with fellow alum and APG Board Member Tom Giotto since 1997.

While at PSU, Jim served as President of the Interfraternity Council his Junior year and as a cheerleader (and as the substitute Nittany Lion mascot) during his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. He cheered at the Cotton, Sugar and Gator bowls and was a part of the cheerleading squad which initiated the "WE ARE" cheer in the mid 70's.

Jim spent his college summers as a lifeguard in Ocean City, NJ.  In 1976, while still a labor studies student, Jim helped organize the Ocean City New Jersey Lifeguard Association and have it recognized as a collective bargaining unit by the New Jersey Public Relations Commission. In his last summer on the OC Beach Patrol Jim negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement for seasonal employees in Ocean City history. In August 2015, Jim was initiated into the OCBP Hall of Fame for his work on behalf of the lifeguard's union.

Jim has been married to his wife Terry since 1986 and has 3 grown children and one grandchild. Two of their children and their respective spouses are Penn State graduates.