J.D. Strong

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J.D. Strong
Executive Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board
Assumed office
October 12, 2010
Governor Brad Henry
Mary Fallin
Preceded by Duane Smith
Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment
In office
August 20, 2008 – January 14, 2011
Governor Brad Henry
Preceded by Miles Tolbert
Succeeded by Gary Sherrer
Personal details
Born April 16, 1971
Weatherford, Oklahoma
Spouse(s) Kalli
Residence Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website Oklahoma Water Resources Board

J.D. Strong (born 1971) is a civil servant from the U.S. state of Oklahoma and the current Executive Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB). As Executive Director of OWRB, Strong is responsible for carrying out the agency's mission to protect and enhance the quality of life for Oklahomans by managing and improving the state’s water resources to ensure clean and reliable water supplies, a strong economy, and a safe and healthy environment. Under Strong's leadership, the OWRB updated the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan, a 50-year water supply assessment and policy strategy to meet Oklahoma's future water needs. Strong also oversees administration of Oklahoma’s AAA-rated $3 billion Financial Assistance Program, which assists more than two-thirds of Oklahoma communities and rural water districts in financing water infrastructure projects. Other significant programs under Strong’s direction include the administration of almost 13,000 water rights permits allocating some 6 million acre-feet of stream and groundwater, hydrologic studies, licensure of water well drillers, floodplain management, dam safety, and a water quality management program that includes establishment of standards and statewide monitoring of lakes and streams. Strong represents Oklahoma on the Western States Water Council and Chairs its Water Quality Committee, and also serves as Oklahoma’s Commissioner on four Congressionally-approved interstate water Compact Commissions.

Strong has served three Governors of Oklahoma in various capacities since 1996: Republican Frank Keating, Democrat Brad Henry, and Republican Mary Fallin. Under the Henry Administration, Strong served as Henry's Secretary of the Environment. As Secretary, Strong oversaw also environmental protection and wildlife conservation programs of the State.

Education and early career[edit]

A fifth generation Oklahoman, Strong graduated as valedictorian from Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in Wildlife Ecology with a minor in Agronomy in 1993. While finishing his degree at OSU, Strong began working at the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, where he worked as an environmental scientist for several years. In 1996, Strong was appointed a special assistant to the Secretary of the Environment.

In his twelve years at the Office of the Secretary of the Environment, Strong served as the lead advisor to three different Environmental Secretaries for two Governors. In this capacity, he coordinated both the Governor’s Tar Creek Superfund Task Force and the Governor’s Animal Waste and Water Quality Protection Task Force under then Governor Frank Keating. Strong was also actively involved in efforts to address interstate water pollution concerns, particularly regarding excess phosphorus pollution in watersheds shared with the state of Arkansas. Strong has worked with northern Ottawa County officials on a massive buyout assistance program to relocate families and businesses from the nation’s most hazardous Superfund Site—the Tar Creek Superfund Site in Picher, Oklahoma.[1]

Prior to his serving as Environmental Secretary, Strong served as the Office of the Secretary of the Environment's chief liaison to the Oklahoma Legislature before becoming the chief of staff to former Secretary of the Environment Miles Tolbert in 2003.

Secretary of the Environment[edit]

Strong was appointed by Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry as his second Secretary of the Environment. Strong succeed Miles Tolbert, who resigned to take a position in the private sector. In addition to serving as Governor Henry’s lead advisor on environmental matters, Strong coordinated the activities of the Environmental Subcabinet, as well as oversaw the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.[2]

Executive Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board[edit]

Strong was appointed by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board as its executive director in October 2010 while serving as Secretary of the Environment.[3] Upon the election of Republican Governor Mary Fallin, Strong was replaced as Secretary by Fallin appointee Gary Sherrer. Strong retained his position as OWRB Executive Director, however, despite the election of a new Governor.

Personal life[edit]

Strong, his wife, Kalli, and their daughter, Edyn, live in southwest Oklahoma City where they are active in the Yukon, Oklahoma Public School system, their neighborhood association, their daughter’s pom squad, and their local church.


  1. ^ Office of Secrerary Strong. "Official biography of Secretary Strong" (PDF). State of Oklahoma. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-06-04. 
  2. ^ Office of Governor Henry (2008-08-20). "Gov. Henry names Strong environmental secretary". State of Oklahoma. Archived from the original on June 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ Oklahoma Water Resources Board (2010-10-12). "J.D. Strong Approved As New Water Board Director". Oklahoma Water Resources Board. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Miles Tolbert
Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment
Under Governor Brad Henry

August 20, 2008 - January 14, 2011
Succeeded by
Gary Sherrer