(Alphabetically by Last Name)
Executive Director David Blatt
David Blatt helped found OK Policy in 2008 and became the organization’s Executive Director in 2010. David’s work involves conducting research, writing issue briefs and blog posts, and giving public presentations on state budget and tax policy, poverty, health care, and various other subjects. He writes a weekly column, Prosperity Policy, that appears in the Journal Record. David has been selected as Political Scientist of the Year by the Oklahoma Political Science Association, Local Social Justice Champion by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, and Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers. David previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. He lives in Tulsa with his wife, Patty Hipsher, a special education teacher in Broken Arrow, and their son, Noah.
Policy Analyst Ryan Gentzler
Ryan Gentzler joined OK Policy in January of 2016 as a policy analyst focusing on criminal justice issues. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. He previously worked as a Research Associate at the University of Oklahoma’s Early Childhood Education Institute. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015.
Operations & Development Director Shiloh Kantz
Shiloh joined OK Policy as the Office Manager in February of 2010. She is a wife and mother of three children, Grantham, Ethan and Delilah and a member of the Cherokee Nation. Prior to joining OK Policy, she worked as a controller and office manager for an Oklahoma small business group. Shiloh was promoted to Director of Operations and Development in June of 2015. She oversees all internal operations, event planning, and fundraising activities. Her work at OK Policy has tuned her in to what is happening in our state and fostered a drive to play a more active part in it. Before joining the staff, she felt she was a suburban wife and mother who had no interest in state government because it did not affect her. She now realizes state government affects all residents, big and small, old and young.
Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator KJ McKee
KJ joined OK Policy in December of 2013. She is a native Oklahoman and an OU graduate. As OK Policy’s Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator, she coordinates the Together Oklahoma coalition and works to make it easier for all Oklahomans to advocate for sensible public policies. She has been active for years with the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, Oklahoma Sustainability Network, and other community projects, and in 2011 she was honored with the City of Norman’s Human Rights Award. Prior to joining OK Policy, KJ was Executive Director of Kendall Whittier, Inc. (KWI), a Tulsa neighborhood nonprofit, and she currently serves on the KWI board of directors.
Outreach & Operations Associate Tyler Parette
Tyler joined the OK Policy team in a full-time capacity in September 2015. He is a Summer Policy Institute alumni and a previous OK Policy intern. Tyler graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in April 2015 with a B.S. in Political Science. As Outreach and Operations Associate, Tyler provides organizational and administrative support as well as helps to develop and strengthen coalitions and alumni networks. Tyler’s specific policy interests include insurance, poverty, and inequality.
Outreach & Legislative Liaison Bailey Perkins
Bailey joined OK Policy in August 2016. As Outreach & Legislative Liaison, she represents OK Policy at the State Capitol during the legislative session and works with advocacy groups and coalitions in the Oklahoma City area to help advance OK Policy’s agenda for broad-based prosperity. A native of Lawton, Perkins earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history as a Clara Luper Full Tuition Scholar from Oklahoma City University and later earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. Bailey’s first experiences in the nonprofit field came from working as the Coordinator of Teen Leadership Initiatives for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City and serving two years as a board member and advocacy chairman of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. Her work in policy and politics began as a National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership alumna and graduate assistant, a staffer in the office of Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, and a campaign manager for Oklahoma U.S. Senate candidate Connie Johnson. She was also a participant in OK Policy’s first Summer Policy Institute in 2013 and later was part of our inaugural class of Research Fellows. Before joining OK Policy, she served as a State Policy Fellow for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families where she researched, analyzed, and advocated for education and fiscal policies that help low and moderate income families in Arkansas.
Policy Director Gene Perry
Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism. At OK Policy, Gene supervises policy staff and conducts research focusing on tax and budget and education issues. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks.
Policy Analyst Carly Putnam
Carly joined OK Policy as a full-time policy analyst in January of 2014. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern. A Kansas City native, Carly graduated from the University of Tulsa in December 2013 with a BA in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She was a leader in several TU organizations active in feminist, LGBTQ, and anti-racist education and advocacy. She is a graduate of the National Education of Women (NEW) Leadership Institute, worked as an editor for the campus newspaper, tutored students at Will Rogers High School, and interned with Planned Parenthood. Her work at OK Policy focuses on healthcare, poverty, inequality, and race and gender.