David Blatt to step down as Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Executive Director

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Policy Institute, a Tulsa-based think tank, has announced that David Blatt, its longtime Executive Director, will leave the organization later this year. Blatt says he will remain in his leadership position until a new executive director is found.
“We are extremely grateful to David for the great success he has had in building OK Policy into an organization that is widely recognized and respected for its quality, credibility, independence, and integrity,” said Don Millican, OK Policy’s Board Chair. “We have big shoes to fill, but we are also confident that our new leader will be taking over a strong, stable, and dynamic organization.”

Blatt helped found Oklahoma Policy Institute in 2008 and initially served as Policy Director before taking over as Executive Director in 2010.

Oklahoma Policy Institute currently has a full-time staff of 16 and an annual $1.8 million budget, which is raised through a combination of grant funding and individual donors.

In addition to Blatt, the organization’s Operations and Development leadership team includes Shiloh Kantz, Director; Gene Perry, Communications and Strategy Director; and Carly Putnam, Policy Director. Together they have a combined 23 years of experience at OK Policy.

According to the OK Policy press release, the organization’s mission is to advance equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through independent research, analysis, and advocacy.

Blatt spent seven years as Public Policy Director of Community Action Project of Tulsa and three years as a fiscal analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. A native of Canada, Blatt moved to Oklahoma in 1996 with his wife Patty Hipsher after completing a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University.

“Leading OK Policy has been a tremendous privilege and pleasure, especially the chance to work with an amazing professional staff and a dedicated and supportive Board of Directors,” Blatt said.

“I’m especially proud of the success the organization has had these past years in shifting the policy debate in Oklahoma towards a greater recognition of the need for fair and adequate funding of public services. Whatever I end up doing next, I know I’m going to miss OK Policy enormously, “Blatt added, “but I’m also very optimistic that the organization and its impact will continue to grow under a new leader.”

To lead the search for the organization’s new executive director, OK Policy has hired Switchgear Search and Recruiting.
The job search will begin on Tuesday, April 2 and applications will be accepted until April 26.

The six-member search committee is co-chaired by past Board chair Ann-Clore Duncan and Board vice-president Felicia Collins Correia. The job announcement and instructions on how to apply will be posted at okpolicy.org. 
OK Policy hopes to have a new executive director in the position by early fall of this year.