July 19, 2019

By Rachel Furtado

Jonathan Klane, Director of Strategic Change in Safety Culture and Programs.

Jonathan Klane recently joined the UC Davis College of Engineering as the Director of Strategic Change in Safety Culture and Programs. Jonathan is now the point of contact for all things risk and safety related and is the safety liaison to Dean Curtis. One of Jonathan’s main goals is to help the college embrace a more cohesive, supportive, engaging and participative safety culture.

Jonathan grew up outside of Boston, lived in Maine and most recently lived in Arizona and worked as the safety director, also known as the “bald-headed safety guy”, for the Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

In this edition of the College of Engineering’s Staff Spotlight, we get to know more about Jonathan.

Tell us about your path to UC Davis.

Many years ago, a close colleague at the UC Office of the President (UCOP) and I started to co-arrange lab safety roundtables at our annual industrial hygiene conference. I got to know many other peers in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at UCOP and several of the campuses and really liked how the campuses and UCOP collaborated together. They immediately welcomed me to the team and over the years they encouraged me to “Come to California!” 

When this position opened, I shared the job description with another close colleague who remarked, “Jon, did you write this?!  It is so close to what you do now!” I am so thankful to have gotten this position and landed here at Davis – it’s pretty amazing.

What are your major job functions?

I like to describe it as two related positions. There is the day to day part where I’m our point of contact for all things safety, EHS and risk related. I’m our liaison, consultant, communicator, contact and leader representing the Dean. Then there is the long-term strategic change agent part where I get to try to help us move to a cohesive and supportive safety culture. The job description is actually within the change agent category and not the EHS category – I just happen to specialize in safety and risk. It should be fun facilitating our safety culture efforts!

What do you look forward to the most in your job?

I look forward to developing relationships, working with people, helping solve our challenges and figuring out how we implement various requirements. I did a lot of these in my former position and the people here are all fun and seem up for the challenges we face together!

If you could do any job in the world what would it be?

I’d love to be a fictional author (or at least I think I would). Is that an author of fiction or a make-believe author who doesn’t exist, or both perhaps?

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

As you might guess, I enjoy writing creative fiction and have many fun works in progress.  Life is a story and we all have (at least) one in us. What’s yours? Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Many people die with their music still in them.” I hope to not fulfill that.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?

I’m thrilled to be here and to be part of the team!  Please feel free to come by, stop me when I’m out and about, introduce yourself, say hi or share some cool conversation.