Secretary of State - Chris Benge
Secretary Benge was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1998 and left office in November 2010 due to legislative term limits. He served six years in leadership positions, including three years as Chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Committee, which was responsible for negotiating and writing the state budget. He spent his last three years in office as Speaker of the House.
After his legislative service, Benge worked in Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s administration as the Director of Intergovernmental and Enterprise Development. His focus was on public policy and special project development, such as river development, transportation, infrastructure needs, and energy leadership. He also concentrated on strengthening working partnerships between Tulsa County and the surrounding communities in the region.
Most recently, Benge served as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs with the Tulsa Regional Chamber, leading the organization’s advocacy efforts at the state and federal level through the OneVoice process, as well as working with city and county officials on local policy issues.
Click here to visit the Secretary of State.
Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology - Preston Doerflinger
An Oklahoma native, Doerflinger previously served as Tulsa city auditor. Doerflinger has a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership from Southern Nazarene University.
In addition to serving as secretary of finance, Doerflinger serves as director of the Office of State Finance. He plays an important role in developing, communicating and implementing executive branch fiscal policies and oversees preparation of the Governor's Executive Budget for submission to the Legislature.
Click here to visit the Office of State Finance.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs - Rita Aragon, Maj. Gen. (retired)
During her 28-year military career, Aragon served as the commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard and as the Air National Guard assistant to the deputy chief of staff of Staff Manpower and Personnel at the Pentagon, where she was the senior Air National Guard officer responsible for military and civilian personnel management, education, training and resource allocation. Aragon was the first woman in the United States to command a state’s Air National Guard. She received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
In addition to her military career, Aragon has served as an elementary school teacher and an elementary school principal. Aragon is the first woman Oklahoma Secretary of Military and Veterans’ Affairs.
Click here to visit the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Secretary of Agriculture - Jim Reese
Reese served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1987 to 2001 before serving as the State Executive Director for the Oklahoma Farm Service Agency. Reese also served as a policy advisor to former House Speaker Chris Benge. Reese has farmed in north central Oklahoma since 1978.
Reese graduated from Oklahoma State University before earning an associate degree in drafting and design from Northern Oklahoma College. He also attended the USDA Supervisory Academy at Texas A&M.
Click here to visit the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
Secretary of Health and Human Services - Dr. Terry Cline
Dr. Cline serves as secretary of health and human services and as commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Dr. Cline was appointed commissioner of health in 2009 by the Oklahoma State Board of Health. He previously served as a health attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in the administrations of both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
He previously served as an administrator for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency committed to improving accountability, capacity and effectiveness in the nation’s substance abuse and mental health service delivery systems.
Additionally, he was a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the governing board for a Harvard teaching hospital in Cambridge, Mass.
Dr. Cline is an Ardmore native and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma. He earned both a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University.
Click here to visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Secretary of the Military - Major Gen. Myles Deering
Gen. Deering serves as the secretary of the military, and is the adjutant general of the Oklahoma National Guard. He was first appointed to the post in February 2009.
During his 39-year military career, Gen. Deering has served in a wide variety of areas including in 2008 when he commanded troops for the Multi-National Force in Iraq. Prior to being named adjutant general in 2009, Gen. Deering served as director of manpower and personnel at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.
He has received numerous military honors including the Bronze Star Medal, the Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters and Legion of Merit. In 2005, Gen. Deering lead 2,500 Oklahoma National Guard troops during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and for his actions was given the Hero Award from the Oklahoma Red Cross.
Click here to visit the Oklahoma National Guard.
Secretary of Safety and Security - Michael C. Thompson
Thompson is the secretary of safety and security and commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
Thompson previously served as a zone commander in the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Thompson is the first African American to serve as either DPS commissioner or secretary of safety and security.
He also is a colonel in the Oklahoma National Guard, where he serves as commander of the 90th Troop Command. He is a combat veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge after two tours of duty in Iraq. He also received the Humanitarian Service Medal after his deployment to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Thompson earned a graduate degree in applied science from Oklahoma State University and a graduate degree in national security and strategic studies from the United States Army War College. He received his undergraduate degree from Langston University.
Click here to visit the Department of Public Safety.
Secretary of Science and Technology - Dr. Stephen McKeever
Dr. McKeever currently serves as vice president for research and technology transfer at Oklahoma State University and is the executive director of the OSU Multispectral Lab in Ponca City.
Dr. McKeever first joined the physics faculty at OSU in 1983 rising to the level of regents professor in 1990. He was named a Noble Research Fellow in Optical Materials in 1987 and served as head of the physics department at OSU from 1995 to 1999 and associate dean for research in the College of Arts & Sciences from 2000 to 2003.
Dr. McKeever obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as a doctor of philosophy from the University of Wales. He has authored or co-authored more than 190 scientific publications and five books and has six U.S. and nine international patents.
Secretary of Transportation - Gary Ridley
Ridley serves as secretary of transportation and director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, as well as the director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Ridley has served as secretary of transportation since 2009. He also has held the positions of director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation since 2001 and director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority since 2009.
Click here to visit the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
Secretary of Commerce and Tourism - Deby Snodgrass
Deby Snodgrass has more than 30 years experience in marketing and public policy in the private sector. Prior to accepting the Executive Director’s post at the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Snodgrass served as Senior Director of Public Affairs for Chesapeake Energy. In that role, she developed and executed strategic political and public policy initiatives, managed both state and federal political action committees and monitored federal, state and local issues. Prior to her tenure at Chesapeake, Snodgrass was a founding partner of the public policy and research firm, Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates. She has been a frequent guest speaker and has taught policy and strategy at various national and international venues.
Click here to visit the Department of Commerce.
Secretary of Energy and Environment - Michael Teague
Michael Teague is serving as Oklahoma’s first secretary of Energy and Environment.
Prior to his appointment, Teague served in the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years before retiring with the rank of Colonel.
Teague served in many capacities during his time in the Army including commander for the Tulsa District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers where he was responsible for a civil works program encompassing all of Oklahoma, a large portion of southern Kansas and the panhandle of northern Texas. He oversaw over 700 employees in engineering, construction and operations, as well as an annual budget of $700 million.
Throughout his career, Teague has dealt with power generation and distribution, water desalinization, and environmental impact studies. He has facilitated and negotiated numerous solutions regarding federal and state agencies, tribes, and local stakeholders and has acted as a liaison between the Tulsa District and the United States Congress.
Teague also served in operational assignments in Germany, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and numerous stateside duty stations. He deployed several times to the Middle East and central Asia including commanding the 52nd Engineer Battalion in Mosul, Iraq in support of the 101st Airborne Division as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
Teague received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Norwich University. He also received master’s degrees in operations analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School and in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
Click here to visit the Oklahoma Department of Energy and Environment.
Secretary of Education and Workforce Development - Natalie Shirley
Natalie Shirley became president of OSU-OKC in 2011. She is the first female president in the OSU system.
Prior to her role at OSU-OKC, Shirley served as Oklahoma secretary of commerce and tourism for former Governor Brad Henry. She also served as the executive director of the Department of Commerce, the state’s leading economic development agency. Shirley has also served as president of ICI Mutual, an insurance company.
Shirley currently serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Central Oklahoma, SSM Health Care of Oklahoma, the Girl Scouts, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, BancFirst, the Oklahoma State Fair Board, AAA Oklahoma/South Dakota, as a trustee on the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum and on the community development advisory council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.