Gov. Stitt creates new cabinet positions, eliminates one

Stitt says the changes were made in an effort to adjust to the state’s top challenges.
Stitt says the changes were made in an effort to adjust to the state’s top challenges.(Source: Shealah Craighead/The White House)
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 11:50 AM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - On Tuesday, Governor Kevin Stitt announced a shuffle in his cabinet including the creation of two new secretaries and the elimination of a third.

Stitt says the changes were made in an effort to adjust to the state’s top challenges.

The new cabinet positions were announced as the Secreatry of Operations and Government and Efficiency and the Secretary of Workforce Development.

In a statement, Stitt said he hopes the changes improve his ability to run the state government more efficiently.

“I’m very excited about our new cabinet structure. We are always learning more and trying to improve how we run state government and I believe our cabinet structure should reflect our state’s changing needs.

“I continually hear concerns from across the state as to what we are doing to build up our workforce, so I am looking forward to appointing a new Secretary of Workforce who will be focused specifically on workforce issues. This distinct effort, in addition to working with the Secretary of Commerce, will be critical in our vision to make Oklahoma the most business-friendly state in the nation.

“As governor, I believe in less taxes and smaller government. Creating a Secretary of Operations and Government Efficiency is a targeted effort to ensure my administration stays focused on shrinking the size of government and providing the most efficient services for the taxpayer. Within just weeks of my executive order on reducing the state vehicle fleet, we have saved taxpayers an estimated $2.8 million annually. I know there are more ways to save taxpayer money throughout state government and I look forward to taking additional action with this new cabinet position.

“As a former CEO, my vision is for cabinet secretaries to act as CEOs over their respective agencies, boards, and commissions, which means that these individuals are looking at the big picture and holding their agencies accountable. This new structure reflects our thoughtful approach and will help make Oklahoma a Top Ten state.”

The cabinet position which Stitt eliminated was the Secretary of Science of Innovation. His office said pursuant to state statute, the cabinet system can only consist of 15 cabinet areas.

Other cabinet areas include: agriculture, state and native american affairs, human services, health and mental health, public safety, transportation, economic administration, budget, commerce and workforce development, energy and environment, military and veterans affairs, tourism wildlife and heritage, education, licensing and regulation

State Chief Operating Officer John Suter will assume the position of Secretary of Operations and Government Efficiency.

The Secretary of Workforce Development will be formally announced following the recommendation of the Governor’s Workforce Transformation Task Force.