Oklahoma City, OK (STL.News) Governor Kevin Stitt announced today that Steven Harpe will take over as Oklahoma’s next chief operating officer to oversee cabinet secretaries and state agencies. Harpe will retain his role as executive director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and continue to serve on the governor’s cabinet as deputy secretary of digital transformation and administration.
“I am thrilled that Steve has accepted the new challenge of serving Oklahomans as the state’s chief operating officer,” said Governor Stitt, who created the position when he came into office in 2019. “Steve is without a doubt the right person for this job and I know he will build on our successes to take us closer to becoming a Top Ten state.”
“It’s an honor that Governor Stitt has trusted me with this great responsibility. I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum that has been created within state government,” Harpe said. “As a leader of OMES and in my service as a cabinet secretary, I have encouraged my teams to always look for innovative solutions. This mentality will continue in my new role as chief operating officer for the state.”
Legislative leaders praised Harpe’s work at OMES and applauded his promotion.
“Steve Harpe successfully strives for results by working with stakeholders to achieve goals as a team. The House looks forward to building on the improvements and collaborative approach he has already brought during his state service as we all work together to improve state services for Oklahomans,” said Speaker of the House Charles McCall, R-Atoka.
“In his role at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Steve Harpe has brought an energetic and positive attitude to the agency. I appreciate his leadership in implementing employee growth and development programs at the agency, and the effort to upgrade many state agencies to modern workplace software, which proved especially helpful during the pandemic as much of state government went to remote work. I look forward to working with Steve in his new role in the administration,” said Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.
“As Senate Appropriation Chairman, I’m committed to ensuring taxpayer resources are used in the most efficient way possible. Steve Harpe shares that goal and has been a great partner to work with to ensure government services are delivered to citizens effectively. I look forward to continuing to partner with him in his new role in the administration,” said Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah
In the last year, Harpe has led major transformation projects for the state, including Oklahoma’s disaster recovery project to upgrade technology and invest in a secondary data center which ensured protection of state data and valuable digital information in the face of cyber or natural disasters. At OMES, Harpe established “Resiliency” as the state cybersecurity strategy to emphasize not just weathering attacks but learning from them and coming back stronger. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Harpe worked with the Oklahoma State Department of Health to secure PPE and other desperately needed supplies and also offered various resources to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission as it provided services during the 2020 unemployment crisis.
Before serving in state government, Harpe served as chief information officer of Gateway Mortgage Group, one of the nation’s largest independent mortgage companies. Harpe has more than 31 years of experience managing technology solutions globally for companies such as American Airlines, Sabre, HireRight, Capital One, and CGI. He has also worked on initiatives for the U. S. Navy and Marines requiring high level security clearances by the federal government.
OMES Chief of Staff Dana Webb will be promoted to deputy director, effective immediately.