Watch: Shining a Spotlight on Staff – I am Cal OES Video Series – Linell Walker 


Over the past several years, the state has experienced an unprecedented number of emergencies and disasters. As these climate-driven natural disasters become more severe in California, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) staff has met each new challenge head-on.

The nearly 2,000 staff at Cal OES have responded to increasingly complex disasters in fresh and innovative ways, strengthening the foundation of emergency management to prepare for, respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters.

Meet Linell Walker, an Assistant Program Manager within the Office of Access and Functional Needs (OAFN) at Cal OES. The work he does supports the Disaster Response Interpreter Program, ensuring that interpreter and services are available to those impacted by disaster, in particular, at press conferences, townhalls and shelters. In addition, he also coordinates any needed transadaptation services for written materials in other languages.

“That’s what we’re here for, to ensure these underrepresented communities get the help that they need,” Walker said. “It’s very vital that this office is here because it provides that for them.”

Understanding that virtually all incidents in California disproportionately affect individuals with access and functional needs, Cal OES’ OAFN works to identify the needs of individuals with disabilities, utilizing a whole community approach to offer training and guidance to emergency managers and planners, disability advocates and other service providers.

His background is in the retail management industry, but after hearing about Cal OES through a friend, Walker wanted a job that would allow him to make a difference in the lives of Californians.

Walker has been with Cal OES for the last 15 years and is proud that the work he does helps those with access and functional needs before, during and after disaster to help them get on the road to recovery.