FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
OJA Board Elects Chairman
OKLAHOMA CITY, JAN. 14, 2020— Board members of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs today elected Karen Youngblood as chairman of the nine-member board. Youngblood succeeds Warren A. “Tony” Caldwell, who served as board chairman until his resignation from the board last month.
Youngblood served the past 2½ years as board vice chairman. Board members today elected Sean Burrage, of Norman, as vice chairman.
Youngblood, of Oklahoma City, is chief learning officer at One Agents Alliance (OAA) specializing in organization development and educational leadership. She previously served as executive director of customized education at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). Youngblood earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Friends University in Wichita, Kan., and a master’s degree in education, adult education and training from UCO.
She was first appointed to the board in January 2017. Governor Kevin Stitt reappointed her last year. Legislation passed and signed into law changed the makeup of OJA’s board from seven members all appointed by the governor to four-year terms and confirmed by the Senate to a nine-member board. The governor appoints five members and the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore each appoint two.
“It is an honor to continue to serve the state of Oklahoma alongside this board and staff, to best protect and address the interests of our citizenry and those in our care,” Youngblood said. “We have incredible opportunities ahead of us, but it requires each of us to commit to heavy lifting together to accomplish those goals and enforce the changes that will be necessary to tackle the ever-changing environment the kids we are entrusted to oversee live in today. The state of Oklahoma has been willing to make bold changes and address things being done “the way they were always done,” but we cannot allow that to stop at the adult justice level; there is much to do at the juvenile level, too. I look forward to serving in an area of great passion and feel blessed to have served under our previous chairman, Warren A. “Tony” Caldwell.”
Burrage is vice president for executive affairs at the University of Oklahoma (OU). He previously served as president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Before being named to that post in July 2014, Burrage was a partner in the Taylor Burrage Law Firm. He also served in the Oklahoma Senate from November 2006 until June 2014. Burrage earned his bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from OU.
“OJA has benefited from dynamic and engaged leadership of its board and I am confident that will continue under the guidance of Karen and Sean,” said OJA Executive Director Steven Buck. “Both care deeply about the youth in our care and are committed to ensuring our agency provides education and treatment services for all juveniles in our care as well as community prevention to divert juvenile delinquency.”
About the Board of Juvenile Affairs
The Board of Juvenile Affairs is the rule-making body of the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA). The board reviews and approves the budget requests of the office; conducts periodic reviews and planning activities related to the goals, objectives, priorities and policies of the office; and provides a public forum for receiving comments and disseminating information to the public regarding goals, objectives, priorities and policies of the office. The board has the authority to adopt non-binding resolutions requesting action by OJA in response to comments received or upon the board’s own initiative.
For additional information, contact:
Michael McNutt / Communications Director
at (405) 530-2860 (office) or (405) 249-6072 (cell)
Paula Christiansen / Public Information Officer
at (405) 530-2814 (office) or (405) 620-6483 (cell)