OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – John Budd, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Chief Operating Officer, is resigning from his office.
Stitt announced Wednesday afternoon that Budd’s resignation will be effective Friday, July 2.
Budd was the first person to be appointed COO by an Oklahoma governor. He joined Stitt’s administration in January 2019 and oversaw the governor’s cabinet and state agency operations, a news release from Stitt’s office states.
“It has been an honor to work with Governor Stitt and serve our state over the last two and a half years,” Budd said. “As we have come to the end of the legislative session and we welcome the summer, I believe it is a good time for me to move on to my next journey.”
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The news release states that Budd worked with cabinet secretaries to improve collaboration across state agencies, and built the Governor’s Dashboard, which uses quantitative metrics to track Oklahoma’s progress toward becoming a Top Ten state in key areas.
“John Budd’s faithful service to the state of Oklahoma cannot be overstated,” said Gov. Stitt. “As our first COO, he helped me build my executive team, launched a number of key initiatives, and has been a trusted advisor since the start of my administration. His leadership on the Governor’s Solution Task Force during the pandemic was key in successfully helping navigate our state through one of the toughest challenges we have ever faced. I am grateful for his friendship and wish him nothing but the best.”
Budd established a Multi-Agency Coordination Center with the Oklahoma National Guard in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and helped create the Governor’s Solution Task Force, which included cabinet secretaries, public health experts and other senior government leaders, according to the news release.
The search for a new COO is ongoing.