Governor Newsom Appoints Natalie Palugyai to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and Names Stewart Knox as the Next LWDA Secretary 

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that Stewart Knox will serve as the next Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), filling the role held by outgoing Secretary Natalie Palugyai since 2021. Secretary Palugyai will continue to serve the Administration as an appointee to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

“Secretary Palugyai took the helm at LWDA at a critical juncture, when the state was continuing to grapple with the pandemic, bringing her experience in the public and private sectors to address the unprecedented challenges facing our state and its workers,” said Governor Newsom. “With her strong leadership, Secretary Palugyai oversaw the creation of innovative apprenticeship and workforce development programs to support California workers as we collectively recovered from the pandemic. Her work to focus attention on historically underserved communities will have a long-lasting impact on Californians.”

Knox has been Undersecretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency since 2021 and previously served in this role from 2019 to 2020. He brings decades of extensive experience in workforce and economic development.

“Stewart has dedicated his career to empowering working people and communities with the tools and opportunities they need to access good jobs in emerging fields. I look forward to his continued leadership and partnership as our state works to prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future and build a stronger, more inclusive economy for all Californians,” said Governor Newsom.

“It is an honor to serve the hardworking people of California who keep our state moving forward every day,” said Knox. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the work ahead to meet the state’s workforce needs and expand economic prosperity across California.”

Stewart Knox, 54, of West Sacramento, has been appointed Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, where he has been Undersecretary since 2021 and served as Undersecretary from 2019 to 2020. Knox was Senior Vice President of Calbright College from 2020 to 2021. He was Executive Director of the California Employment Training Panel from 2014 to 2019, Director of Health and Human Services for Nevada County in 2014 and Director of Economic and Workforce Development for San Mateo County from 2013 to 2014. Knox was Director of the Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium from 2009 to 2013 and Executive Director of the North Central Counties Consortium from 2006 to 2008. He was Director of Workforce for the City of Glendale from 2004 to 2006 and for Yuba Community College from 1997 to 2004. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $232,858. Knox is registered without party preference.