2017 Speaker Bios [N-Z]

2017 Speaker Bios [N-Z]

Alphabetical by last name. 

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Leslie Osborn 

Panelist: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges

In 2008 Leslie Osborn was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, District 47. She has chaired the Revenue and Taxation committee, Appropriations sub-committee on natural resources, and was the first female in the House of Representatives to chair the Judiciary committee.  In December of 2016 she was named as the first Republican female chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.   She received a B.S. in business administration from Oklahoma State University and resides in Mustang, Oklahoma. Leslie owned and operated her own business for 22 years, Osborn Pick-Up Accessories, and is the mother of two children.

Rep. Osborn has been awarded the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the legislator of the year award from the following groups: the District Attorneys council, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Freedom Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Association for Justice, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, the Oklahoma Credit Union association, and the State Association of Conservation districts.

Tyler Parette 

Moderator: Oklahoma Campaigns and Elections; Direct Lobbying Breakout Session

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.

Bailey Perkins 

Presenter: Legislative Process; Direct Lobbying Breakout Session

She spent the past two years as a state policy fellow through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Through this fellowship, she worked 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. Bailey is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the board of directors for the Young Non Profit Professionals of Little Rock – an organization committed to “learning, networking, and serving.”

Gene Perry 

Info Graphics/Finding and Using Data; Overview: Education Issues; Moderator: Education Panel Discussion

Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. He is a native Oklahoman and has a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oklahoma. At OK Policy, Gene supervises policy staff, helps to identify policy priorities for the organization, and does research focusing on tax and budget, education, and criminal justice issues. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and chairs the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks.

Sen. Anastasia Pittman

Careers in Public Policy: Round table discussions

Senator Anastasia A. Pittman was born on July 19, 1970 in Miami, Florida and has resided in Oklahoma for over 35 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s degree in Urban Education and Behavioral Science from Langston University. Senator Pittman is an educator, consultant, public relations specialist, radio talk show host, registered tutor with the Oklahoma City Public Schools System, former case manager, and former mentor for the United States Department of Justice, Western District. She won her election to the House of Representatives of District 99 in November 2006 and Oklahoma State Senate of District 48 in November 2014. Senator Pittman is the second Seminole citizen to serve in the legislature and is the former Chair of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus. She is the Assistant Democratic Leader and serves as the Vice Chair of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators, National Black Caucus of State Legislators Telecommunications Vice-Chair, and National Foundation of Women Legislators State Director. She is a member of Northeast Church of Christ, Beta Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., along with many civic and community organizations. Senator Pittman has received numerous honors locally and nationally. She is married with one daughter, one foster son, and three step children.

Carly Putnam 

Overview: Oklahoma’s Health Landscape

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.

Cynthia Rogers 

Panelist: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges

Cynthia Rogers is a Professor of Economics at the University of Oklahoma and has been Appointed to the Incentive Evaluation Commission of Oklahoma. Rogers does research that focuses on state and local public finance and economic development, with a special focus on methodological issues about the relationship between state tax policy and economic growth. She also uses Oklahoma data to analyze multi-tier, multijurisdictional taxation of retail sales. A common thread in her research is the development of estimation techniques to understand and evaluate the impact of public policies. She frequently shares her research in public forums about economic and tax issues in Oklahoma. 

Rep. Michael Rogers

Panelist: Education 

Rep. Michael Rogers has represented Oklahoma House District 98, covering parts of Tulsa and Broken Arrow, since 2014. He is chair of the House Common Education committee, a former principal for a private Christian school in Broken Arrow, and a former All-American baseball player at Oral Roberts University. He played baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization for 3 years, and in 2011, he was inducted into the ORU Athletic Hall of Fame. Rep. Rogers lives in Broken Arrow with his wife, Krystal, and their three sons, Blake, Easton, and Parker. He serves on the Southern Regional Education Board, is a Commissioner on the Education Commission of the States, and serves on the Oklahoma Council for the Interstate Compact for the Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

Susan Savage 

Panelist: Health Care in Oklahoma

Susan Savage is a native Tulsan who was elected Tulsa’s first woman mayor following her election to office in 1992. Her unprecedented tenure of service as mayor ended in 2002, after which Savage was appointed as Oklahoma’s Secretary of State by Governor Brad Henry from 2003 until January of 2011. Savage has been recognized for her decades of leadership, management expertise and policy work. She currently serves as the CEO for Morton Comprehensive Health Services, the largest community health center system in northeastern Oklahoma.

John Schumann 

Moderator: Health Care in Oklahoma

John Henning Schumann, MD was named the 4th President of the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa in 2015. He practices internal medicine and has spent his career training residents and medical students in Boston, Chicago, and Tulsa. His academic interests include medical education, health policy and clinical medical ethics.

He’s an avid blogger (GlassHospital) and a frequent contributor to NPR. Locally, he hosts ‘Medical Mondays’ for the program ‘StudioTulsa‘ on KWGS-FM 89.5, Public Radio Tulsa.

Dr. Gloria Sly 

Panelist: Education

Dr. Gloria Sly started her career in Education as the Head Teacher at Ross Preschool in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 1976 and has since held various positions within and around the Cherokee Nation as an advocate for higher education of American Indians. She earned her Ph.D. in Education Administration at the University of Oklahoma in 1992. She has also been involved with multiple organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians and was the President of both National Indian Education Association (2000) and Oklahoma Native Language Association (2009-2010). With a career span of over 38 years, Gloria currently holds a position as the Education Liaison for the Cherokee Nation as well as being an active member on the Cherokee Nation Institutional Review Board, National Indian Education Association since 1992, and currently serves as the President of the Tribal Education Department National Assembly.

John Sparks

Panelist: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges

Senator Sparks is the Senate Democratic Leader. John was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.  He was unopposed for a third term in 2014. Since joining the Senate, he has served as Co-Chair and Vice-Chair of the Senate Insurance Committee. He also serves on the Senate Committees for Judiciary and Finance, among others. Senator Sparks was raised in Sulphur where his family has continues to operate their ranch, which was established prior to Statehood. He attended Harvard College where he earned a degree in economics, was named an All-Ivy League defensive tackle and served as an intern for then Senator David Boren. He returned to Oklahoma, earning a law degree from OU. He now practices law in Norman with his own firm, Odom, Sparks & Jones, PLLC. An enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, John is also the Chairman of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. John is married to Elizabeth (Sneed) Sparks, who together have two sons.

Andrew Speno 

Moderator: Criminal Justice Reform

Andrew Speno is State Director for Right on Crime Oklahoma. He has previously worked as President of Media Strategies at Dry Design Group, a media consulting firm focusing on work with law firms, political candidates, lawmakers, and private companies. He served as the main news anchor for Oklahoma City’s Primetime News at Nine from 2001 to 2012, and won more than 25 awards from the Associated Press, Society for Professional Journalists, and The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Andrew uses his wide experience in politics and journalism to promote conservative criminal justice reform to both lawmakers and the general public.

Kris Steele

Panelist: Criminal Justice Reform

Kris Steele is Executive Director of TEEM (The Education and Employment Ministry), a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and incarceration in Oklahoma. TEEM offers educational opportunities, character development courses, job training and employment placement assistance to individuals reentering the community. Steele also serves as the Chair of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, a coalition comprised of community groups, business leaders, health professionals and faith leaders dedicated to advancing effective approaches to public safety by increasing access to treatment and programs designed to address root causes of crime. Kris earned a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University, and master’s degree in Education from East Central University. Prior to joining TEEM, Kris served as State Representative from 2000-2012, and Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for the 53rd Legislature. During his tenure in office, he led the charge on a number of reforms in the areas of health care, human services and criminal justice. Kris and his wife, Kellie, are blessed with two daughters: Mackenzie (14) and Madison (12) and currently reside in Shawnee.

Kim Teehee

Panelist: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges

Kim Teehee is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.  She is Vice President of Government Relations for Cherokee Nation Businesses and Director of Government Relations for Cherokee Nation.  Prior to joining Cherokee Nation, she served as Partner for Mapetsi Policy Group, a Washington, D.C. based federal advocacy group representing Indian tribes and tribal organizations.  She served President Barack Obama as the first-ever Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council for three years. Kim worked with federal agencies to develop and implement policies focused on environmental justice, tribal consultation, tribal self-determination, economic growth, public safety, health care, and education and to resolve longstanding disputes.

Kim’s work helped lead to a Presidential Memorandum on tribal consultation and an Executive Order on Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities. Kim guided the Administration’s support for the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and addressed the U.N. Permanent Forum on issues affecting the world’s indigenous peoples. Kim is especially proud of her work toward the Administration’s support of VAWA reauthorization provisions to hold all perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their crimes against Native American women, closing a jurisdictional gap in Indian country. She also played a key role in three White House Tribal Nations Conferences and led a government-wide team to ensure that progress was being made on tribal policy and legislative priorities.

Prior to serving in the White House, Kim was Senior Advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Native American Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI). Serving the bi-partisan Caucus for nearly 12 years, she established an impressive record of accomplishments on a wide array of Native American issues, including appropriations, education, economic development, energy, health care, housing, agriculture and transportation. Kim’s ability to work across jurisdictional and partisan divides helped the Caucus achieve real progress on Native American issues.

Kim grew up in Claremore, Oklahoma, and held various positions at Cherokee Nation prior to working in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern State University and her J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law.

Lawrence Ware 

Race in Public Policy Breakout Session

Lawrence Ware is an Oklahoma State University Division of Institutional Diversity fellow. He teaches in OSU’s philosophy department and is the diversity coordinator for its Ethics Center. A frequent contributor to The Root and Dissent magazine, he is also a contributing editor of NewBlackMan (in Exile) and the Democratic Left. He has been a commentator on race and politics for HuffPost Live, NPR’sTalk of the Nation and PRI’s Flashpoint. Ware’s book on the life and thought of C.L.R. James will be published by Verso Books in the fall of 2017

Jill Webb 

Panelist: Criminal Justice Reform

Jill Webb received her undergraduate degree in Education at Texas A&M University and began her first career teaching English, Psychology, and Theory of Knowledge in the International Baccalaureate Program in Texas public school system. After serving in the United States Peace Corps, she returned to the United States from Armenia, and began law school in 2003 at Chicago Kent College of Law in downtown Chicago. She made the decision to attend law school so that she could become a public defender.

Jill joined the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office in 2006, shortly after earning her law degree. After practicing a on a felony docket for nearly 5 years, she began her private practice focusing on federal and state criminal defense. She returned to the Public Defender’s Office in September 2015 as the Community Resource Coordinator.

Jan Wilson

Breakout Session: Gender and Public Policy

Dr. Jan Wilson is Wellspring Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and History at the University of Tulsa. Her teaching and research areas include gender and disability studies, feminist and queer theory, and United States Women’s History.  She is currently at work on her second book titled The Zoey Journal, which draws on historical analysis, theory, and her personal experiences raising a daughter with multiple neurodiversities to offer unique perspectives on concepts such as mothering, identity, intersectionality, the gaze, and the meaning of disability.  Dr. Wilson lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, Nathan, her children, Zoey and Connor, and dogs Linda and Marlin.

Jane Wiseman 

Moderator: Public Leadership: Myths and Realities

Jane P. Wiseman is a Judge of the Court of Civil Appeals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, a Master of Arts degree in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law.

She began clerking for Rosenstein, Fist & Ringold in her second term in law school continuing as a legal intern and then as an associate until her first child was born when she practiced as a sole practitioner until being appointed a Special Judge for Tulsa County.  The Governor appointed her a District Judge in 1981 when she was assigned to the Family Relations Division and then to the Civil Division.  As a trial judge, she tried close to 1,000 jury trials.  In March 2005, Governor Brad Henry appointed her to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals in Tulsa where she currently serves.

Judge Wiseman has served as President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference and currently serves on its Executive Board and Legislative Committee.  She has taught trial court case management as a member of the National Judicial College faculty in Reno, Nevada.

She has also served on the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee, Evidence Committee, and the OBA Special Task Force on Tort Reform.  She is active with the Tulsa County Bar Association, serving on its Awards and Nominations and Bench and Bar Committees and as a frequent continuing legal education presenter.

She is married to Jim Hodges and has two sons, Jamie and John, and two sons-by-marriage, Clayton and Kevin, and two granddaughters, Cecilia and Grace.

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