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Melissa McLawhorn Houston serves the State of Oklahoma as Commissioner of Labor. She was appointed to office by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin on November 20th, 2015.
In addition, Houston was appointed by Governor Fallin on June 6, 2018 to serve as the Secretary for Education and Workforce Development.
Houston is an experienced administrator with extensive knowledge of state government. Her career accomplishments include: Chief of Staff for the Attorney General (2012-2015), Chief of Staff for the Oklahoma office of Homeland Security (2002-2011), Deputy Director for the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association, and an Attorney for the Oklahoma Truth in Sentencing Policy Advisory Commission. As a survivor of the Oklahoma City Murrah bombing, she is a frequent speaker on the impact of terrorism.
Houston has extensive experience in state agency operational management, legislative process and budgeting. She has overseen and directed administrative operations of $30 million in the attorney general’s office and she oversaw and managed more than $170 million in federal programming and funds while Chief of Staff at the Office of Homeland Security.
Houston attended the University of Oklahoma where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Letters in 1991 and a Juris Doctor in 1994. She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, Leadership Norman and served as commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.
She and her husband, Ben Houston, who also is an attorney, live in Norman with their two young sons.