Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced Wednesday that the United States Senate has confirmed Edwin G. Foulke Jr. of South Carolina as assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

President George W. Bush nominated Foulke Sept.15, 2005, to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

"Ed has extensive knowledge and experience in workplace safety and health issues that he will put to use to protect workers and promote employer compliance," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

Prior to his nomination, Foulke was a partner with the law firm of Jackson Lewis LLP in Greenville, S.C., and chaired the firm's OSHA practice group. He served on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission from 1990 to 1995, chairing the commission from March 1990 through February 1994. The commission is an independent federal adjudicatory agency that renders decisions in job safety and health disputes arising from inspections conducted by OSHA.

As head of OSHA, Foulke will be responsible for administering a comprehensive program to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards, providing training, outreach and education; and establishing partnerships and alliances that encourage continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

A native of Perkasie, Pa., Foulke graduated from North Carolina State University in 1974. He received his Juris Doctor from Loyola University in 1978 and a Master of Law (LL.M.) degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1993. He also served as an adjunct professor at St. Mary's Dominican College in New Orleans.