Ahniwake Rose takes OK Policy helm while organization honors outgoing director David Blatt with Legacy Fund and Events

Today marks a new era in the history of Oklahoma Policy Institute (OK Policy) as Ahniwake Rose takes over the helm as Executive Director, succeeding longtime director David Blatt.

“Assuming the role of Executive Director is an absolute honor and I am extremely excited to join the talented OK Policy team,” Rose said. “Together we will build upon OK Policy’s foundation of fact-based policy analysis to ensure all Oklahomans have the opportunity to thrive.”

A born and raised Oklahoman, Rose brings two decades of successful experience in national policy initiatives and non-profit organizational leadership. Most recently serving as the Deputy Director and interim Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, D.C, Rose worked with a diverse group of constituents, policy makers, and staff to move the needle on national policy impacting local communities. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation and also of Muscogee (Creek) descent, Rose earned a Bachelor of Science in communications studies from Arizona State University and a Masters of Arts in organizational communication from Bowling Green University.

Rose joins an experienced leadership team that includes Deputy Director and Director of Operations and Development Shiloh Kantz, Policy Director Carly Putnam, and Outreach and Advocacy Director Sabine Brown. A new Communications Director is expected to be announced this month.

Outgoing Executive Director David Blatt will continue to assist in the transition at OK Policy until the end of October. Blatt helped found OK Policy in 2008 and has served as Executive Director since 2010. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to a full-time staff of 20 and a $1.9 million operating budget, while gaining statewide recognition and respect as a trusted source of research and analysis on a broad range of policy issues.

“David’s success in building a strong and vibrant organization with such a talented team is to be greatly admired,” said Don Millican, OK Policy’s Board chair and a founding member of the organization. “I am confident that Ahniwake will build on that foundation to take us to an even greater impact as we all strive to improve the lives of Oklahomans in the years to come.”

To celebrate David, OK Policy is hosting events in Oklahoma City on Monday, October 28th, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Oklahoma History Center and in Tulsa on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 from 4:30-6:30 pm at the IDL Ballroom. The events are open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, go to okpolicy.org/ThankYouDavid.

To honor David’s years of commitment to the organization, the OK Policy Board of Directors has established the David Blatt Legacy Fund to provide dedicated support for OK Policy’s bedrock policy work on budget and tax issues, now being led by Senior Policy Analyst Paul Shinn, one of Oklahoma’s most experienced and knowledgeable fiscal experts.

“As this organization that I helped found enters a new era, I am certain that Ahniwake has the right experience and skills to lead us into the future,” said Blatt. “I would encourage all those who are committed to OK Policy’s success to donate to my Legacy Fund to keep OK Policy strong during this leadership transition and beyond.”

Donations to the David Blatt Legacy Fund can be made at okpolicy.org/DBLF.


Oklahoma Policy Insititute (OK Policy) advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy.

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