Governor Kevin Stitt today announced that Chief Operating Officer John Budd has submitted his resignation effective Friday, July 2.
Budd joined the Stitt administration upon inauguration in January 2019 as the first COO in Oklahoma’s history, and oversaw the Governor’s cabinet and state agency operations, with the mission of helping state agencies deliver efficient, customer-focused services.
“It has been an honor to work with Governor Stitt and serve our state over the last two and a half years,” said Budd. “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.”
As COO, Budd worked with cabinet secretaries to improve collaboration across state agencies, and built the Governor’s Dashboard (govdashboard.ok.gov), which utilizes quantitative metrics that track Oklahoma’s progress toward becoming a Top Ten state in key areas. The dashboard shows significant improvement since January 2019 in critical areas such as incarceration rate, energy affordability, Oklahomans waiting for disability services, children in state custody, and violent and non-violent crime rates.
“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 played a critical role in the state’s COVID-19 response by establishing a Multi-Agency Coordination Center with the Oklahoma National Guard, and by helping create the Governor’s Solution Task Force, which consisted of cabinet secretaries, public health experts and other senior government leaders.
In his resignation letter, Budd wrote in part, “The hardest part of saying goodbye to this role is stepping away from the incredible team we’ve built together. At the same time, the quality of that team gives me confidence that you will be able to continue achieving great things and moving Oklahoma to Top Ten status in more and more categories.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to be the state’s first COO,” Budd continued. “It has been the hardest and best job I’ve ever had.”
The search for Budd’s replacement is ongoing.