OK Policy welcomes three new staffers

We’re welcoming three new staff members to the OK Policy team!

Rebecca Fine

Starting this week, Rebecca Fine has joined Oklahoma Policy Institute as an education policy analyst. The position is new to the organization and will focus on research and analysis of policies affecting all levels of education, from early childhood to K-12 and higher education.

“Even before bringing on a full-time education analyst, OK Policy has been an important voice on education policies,” said Gene Perry, OK Policy’s Director of Strategy and Communications. “We’re excited for this opportunity to deepen our work on this crucial issue for Oklahoma. Rebecca’s work on education issues from early childhood through college will also help to establish OK Policy’s new role as the Oklahoma partner in the national KIDS COUNT network.”

Originally from New York state, Rebecca began her career in education in 2009 as an Oklahoma teacher. Rebecca proudly comes from a family of teachers and spent four years teaching middle school in Tulsa and Union Public Schools. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester and received an M.A. in Educational Policy Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rebecca can be contacted at rfine@okpolicy.org.

Damion Shade

Also starting this week, Damion Shade has joined OK Policy as a criminal justice policy analyst. Damion will take over the work of Ryan Gentzler, who is transitioning to leading OK Policy’s new Open Justice Oklahoma project.

“With Oklahoma officially becoming the most incarcerating state in the nation and world, work on smart criminal justice reform has never been more important,” said OK Policy’s Policy Director Carly Putnam. “Our expanded criminal justice team will keep OK Policy at the forefront of research and policy debates about this momentous challenge for our state.”

Damion grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and has lived in Oklahoma since the late 90s. Prior to joining OK Policy, he was an educator at Jenks Public Schools and the Oklahoma School for the Performing Arts. He’s written education and justice features as a contributing writer for the Tulsa Voice since 2016, and he was awarded best Education and General News Reporting features by the Society for Professional Journalists in 2017. Damion earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Oral Roberts University and started several voter registration and political advocacy initiatives during his time on campus. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Rachel. Damion can be contacted at dshade@okpolicy.org.

Andrea McNeil

Another recent addition to OK Policy is Operations and Development Associate Andrea McNeil. Working with OK Policy since June, Andrea is a lifelong Tulsan, wife, mother of two children, and member of the Cherokee Nation. Prior to working at OK Policy, Andrea held positions in accounting and finance at the Tulsa Community Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa Opera, and Riverfield Country Day School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northeastern State University and is working towards her Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics at OU-Tulsa. Andrea can be contacted at amcneil@okpolicy.org.

“We’re grateful to all of the supporters who appreciate the work of this organization and have invested in us to do even more,” said David Blatt, OK Policy’s Executive Director. “You can expect great things from these new staffers and the whole OK Policy team in the year ahead.”

Oklahoma Policy Institute (OK Policy) is a non-partisan independent policy think-tank. OK Policy promotes adequate, fair, and fiscally responsible funding of public services and expanded opportunity for all Oklahomans through research and advocacy. You can find bios and contact information for all of our staff here.


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. 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.

One thought on “OK Policy welcomes three new staffers

  1. For an eye-opening subject, try Washington County Oklahoma. The Frontier has written on our Judge DeLapp who was recently forced to resign to avoid charges for abuse of authority. The Supreme Court of Oklahoma investigated him and was taking him to court to face charges. Sentencing in this county has been erratic, excessive and totally at the mercy of the mood of this judge. Oklahoma really needs an overhaul of it’s judicial system, particularly sentencing reform.
    Thank you.
    E Marie Livingston

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