Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gov-elect Stitt announces more staff, cabinet hires


Oklahoma City, Okla. (Nov. 27, 2018) – Governor-elect Kevin Stitt announced today the hiring of his Chief of Staff to the governor’s office, the nomination of the Secretary of State, and the appointment of Deputy Secretary of State.

“I am pleased to announce Michael Junk as my Chief of Staff and Michael Rogers as my nomination to Secretary of State. Both bring a strong background of building consensus among community leaders and policymakers to advance Oklahoma. I look forward to leveraging Michael Junk’s experience in public service to improve cohesion within all levels of government and advance our goal to be a Top Ten state,” said Governor-elect Kevin Stitt. “Michael Rogers played a leading role in securing an historic pay raise for Oklahoma’s teachers, and his time in leadership makes him uniquely qualified to work with the Legislature on my administration’s policy priorities. Donelle Harder has an excellent reputation for crafting messaging and policy priorities. She will work alongside both Junk and Rogers to place an emphasis on communicating with and listening to the people of Oklahoma.”

The announcements are as follows:

Michael Junk will serve as Chief of Staff to governor-elect Kevin Stitt. Michael Junk currently serves as the Deputy Mayor of the City of Tulsa, highly involved in transportation and infrastructure policy at the local level as well as economic development efforts for the City of Tulsa.  Prior to his role in City Hall, Junk served as the Campaign Manager for G.T. Bynum for Tulsa Mayor. From 2012 to 2016, Junk worked for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe as State Policy Advisor and previously worked for U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn from 2007 to 2012. Junk currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Task Force for the Study of the Oklahoma Tax Code and on the boards of the Oklahoma Municipal League, the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) and the Tulsa Board of Appeals.

“I applaud Governor-elect Stitt on his choice of Michael Junk as Chief of Staff. As Tulsa’s Deputy Mayor, Michael worked hand in hand with me over the last two years to lead Tulsa’s turnaround. Now, he can use that experience and knowledge in service to a similar turnaround across the entire State of Oklahoma.”
– Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum

“Michael Junk will be an excellent Chief of Staff to the Governor. With prior service as the Deputy Mayor of Tulsa and as my former state policy advisor, he can navigate both state and federal government to accomplish the Governor-elect’s agenda.”
– U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe 

“As a former colleague and friend, I have witnessed Michael’s work across party lines to promote sound policy over partisan rhetoric. He will be a vital asset to the State of Oklahoma and will facilitate strong dialogue that will help move our state forward.”
– Former Tulsa Mayor and Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Kathy Taylor

“I applaud Governor-Elect Stitt for his choice in Michael Junk. Michael has been a steadfast public servant and his expertise at the federal and local level will be instrumental in building a stronger state.”
– Former Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley

Michael Rogers has been selected to serve as Secretary of State, a position that will require Senate confirmation.  Rogers served in the House of Representatives from 2014-2018 representing Broken Arrow and District 98. As the Chair of the Common Education Committee, Rogers carried the teacher pay-raise bill last session and played a leadership role in the passage of HB1010xx to fund the teacher pay increase. He has also served on numerous national boards and commissions including the Southern Regional Education Board as well as the Education Commission of the States.

“Michael Rogers is an intelligent and innovative leader and his experience in the Legislature will be an asset to Governor-elect Stitt and his entire team. I look forward to working with Michael on common-sense, conservative ideas to help make Oklahoma a Top 10 state.”
– Senator Greg Treat, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore-designate

"I believe Michael Rogers is an excellent choice to serve as Secretary of State. He has been a confidant and friend to me during the last four years in the Legislature, and he has served his district and all of Oklahoma with integrity and diligence. I am confident he will bring that same passion to serve our citizens and a desire to improve our state to Gov. Stitt's cabinet."
–  House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka

“Working across the aisle isn’t always easy, and while Michael Rogers and I haven’t always agreed on policy, he has been a man of strong character who is willing to listen to opposing viewpoints in his time in the legislature. It’s my belief he will bring a collaborative and thoughtful approach to the office of Secretary of State as we look to solve the problems facing our state.”
–  Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City

“As a former state legislator, Michael Rogers is well equipped to serve as Oklahoma’s next Secretary of State. Given his prior government involvement, he knows well the policies and procedures necessary to be effective. As he takes on this new role as chief negotiator, I believe he will indeed serve our great state and incoming governor with distinction.”
– Congressman Tom Cole, the 26th Secretary of State

“Michael Rogers quickly displayed leadership among his House colleagues, earning their respect and leading his peers to achieve bipartisan accomplishments during a difficult time for the state. This is one of many reasons why he is an excellent choice to partner with the legislature to accomplish Governor Stitt’s agenda as Secretary of State.”
– Glenn Coffee, former Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore and the 30th Secretary of State

Donelle Harder will serve as Deputy Secretary of State, providing messaging strategy and policy counsel to the Governor and Secretary of State. Harder currently serves on Stitt’s executive transition team and served as Deputy Campaign Manager and spokesperson for Stitt for Governor 2018. Before joining the campaign, Harder was Vice President at the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association and had previously served as Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She comes with more than 10 years of experience in political advising, strategic communications, and government relations.

“As my Communications Director, Donelle Harder refined a varied and wide-ranging agenda into concise, effective messaging and demonstrated an innate understanding of issues that matter to Oklahomans. She’s a strategic mastermind, and I’m confident that her background makes her the right choice to lead the Governor-elect’s messaging efforts and work with the state legislature.” – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe

“I am delighted to endorse Donelle Harder for the position of Deputy Secretary of State for the State of Oklahoma. Donelle is exceptionally bright, has had great experience in public policy at the state and federal level and is very accessible and responsive. She is a very quick study and works diligently to get complete information on a subject and then works well with others to make an intelligent and well thought out decision. Our state will benefit greatly from the leadership, intellectual curiosity and determination of Donelle Harder in this important role and as a key advisor to Governor Stitt.”
– Rodd Moesel, President of Oklahoma Farm Bureau


Oklahoma City, Okla. (Nov. 28, 2018) – Governor-elect Kevin Stitt announced today the appointment of Kenneth Wagner as the next Secretary of Energy and Environment.

“I am pleased to announce that Ken Wagner will be joining my administration as the next Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment,” said Stitt. “Wagner is well respected among environment leaders, energy industry experts, and state regulators in neighboring states. He will play a critical role in advising my administration on policy that encourages robust and responsible development of our natural resources, ensures clean air and clear water for all Oklahomans, and makes our state an example for others to follow.”

Kenneth (Ken) Wagner currently serves as the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Regional and State Affairs at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Prior to working at the EPA, Wagner served as founding partner and managing partner at the Tulsa law firm Latham, Wagner, Steele & Lehman, P.C. Wagner graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1993.

“During his time at EPA, Ken was at the forefront of our efforts to work more closely with states and tribes to ensure clean air, water, and land for all Americans. He traveled to nearly every state in the nation, strengthening existing relationships and forging important new ones. He helped provide our regional offices a direct and open line of communication to headquarters to address local issues in a comprehensive and unified manner. We are grateful for his service to EPA and the American public, and we know he will bring the same dedication and expertise to Oklahoma as he leads the state’s efforts to improve energy production and environmental protection.”
– Andrew Wheeler, EPA Acting Administrator 

“Ken Wagner provides a wealth of knowledge and a proven history as a senior adviser of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We are pleased he will return to Oklahoma to serve as the Secretary of Energy & Environment. His experience in dealing with regulations regarding energy production will ensure our state continues to implement rational and reasonable policies that encourage the responsible production of Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas.”
- Chad Warmington, President of Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association

“AAPCA represents more than 40 state and local air agencies with senior officials from 20 state air agencies sitting on its Board of Directors and an additional 25 local agency members.  At our Spring 2018 meeting, Ken talked with us about his role and work at EPA to implement cooperative federalism by fostering effective EPA working relationships with states, tribes and local air agencies.  An effective EPA-state working relationship is key to helping each air agency address the unique challenges and opportunities that it faces to improve air quality.  AAPCA appreciated Ken's solution oriented focus and the fact that he actively listened to and engaged with our membership.”
- Nancy Vehr, President of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies 

“Ken Wagner has been an incredible advocate for advancing states issues with EPA.  He has embraced the concept Cooperative Federalism and provided states a direct line of communication to the leadership at EPA Headquarters and specifically to the Administrator.  While we will miss Ken in his role at EPA, Oklahoma gains a seasoned leader!  Nebraska and ECOS offer hearty Congratulations!”
-Jim Macy, Vice President of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS)

“Arkansas is delighted to welcome Ken Wagner as the new Secretary of Energy and Environment for the State of Oklahoma. As a skilled state’s-rights advocate who has first-hand knowledge of the federal bureaucracy, Ken is uniquely qualified to assume this important role. I look forward to working with him as we strive to support efficient, effective, and environmentally protective economic development in our region through our trusted partnership on critical state-to-state initiatives. Arkansas and Oklahoma share a bright future in energy and environmental progress.”
-Becky Keogh, Director of Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality 

“I have enjoyed working with Ken Wagner in his capacity as Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Regional and State Affairs at EPA,” said Carol Comer, Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “Ken is thoughtful, collaborative and an amazing solver of complex problems. I look forward to working with him in his new role as the Secretary of Energy and Environment in my neighboring state of Oklahoma.”
- Carol Comer, Director of Missouri Department of Natural Resources

“Congratulation Oklahoma!  The selection of Ken Wagner as Oklahoma’s new Secretary of Energy and Environment was a great decision. Oklahoma will be well served by Ken, and we look forward to working with him during his tenure.”
-Leo Henning, Director of Environment for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

“I had the pleasure of getting to know and work with Ken during my time at EPA Region 6. Oklahomans will be well-served by Ken’s extensive knowledge of state and federal environmental issues.  I look forward to working on federal regulatory policies that affect both Texas and Oklahoma while continuing to protect our natural resources and ensuring economic development for our great states.”
- Emily Lindley, Commissioner of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

“Myself and the Quapaw Nation are extremely excited with Governor Elect Stitt naming Kenneth Wagner to be the Secretary of Energy and Environment. Ken has shown his incredible dedication to developing Tribal Nation’s capabilities to participate in environmental cleanups associated with Tribal lands. Ken is one the hardest working public servants I have ever met. Governor elect Stitt has ensured a brighter future for Oklahoma with this important appointment”
- John L. Berrey, Chairman of the Quapaw Nation

“The RESTORE Council was fortunate to have Ken Wagner serve as the EPA’s designee to the Council. Ken’s leadership as Chair, particularly with team and consensus building helped create much needed momentum for Gulf Restoration.”

-Ben Scaggs, Executive Director of RESTORE Council


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