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Oklahoma Moves Steven Harpe to OMES Director Position

Steven Harpe, formerly the deputy director of Oklahoma's Office of Management and Enterprise Services, has been named OMES director. He replaces John Budd, who will continue serving as state COO.

State of Oklahoma
Shutterstock/Paul Brady Photography
Oklahoma's governor has promoted Steven Harpe to director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, the agency that provides technology, finance, property and human resources services for other departments in the state. 

The announcement from Gov. Kevin Stitt came Wednesday. Harpe, who will be taking over for John Budd, was previously deputy director of OMES. State CIO Bo Reese reports to the OMES director. 

Budd had been serving as both OMES director and state COO. Stitt believed Budd’s role needed to be simplified. 

“He was doing double duty,” said Jake Lowrey, OMES interim director of public affairs. “The governor decided Mr. Budd’s time would be better spent focusing on chief operating officer duties.”

Lowrey added there is currently no OMES deputy director position now that Harpe has taken over as director. 

In a press release, Stitt said that while OMES was going through a number of changes, Budd took initiative and brought critical leadership to the agency.

“Right out of the gate, John was able to fully eliminate a $23 million emergency supplemental request and bring more stability to the agency’s operations,” Stitt said.

According to the press release, Budd said he has heard “nothing but positive reviews” about Harpe since he started working for Oklahoma. Before joining OMES, Harpe served as CIO of Gateway Mortgage Group. He has also worked on tech solutions for CGI and Capitol One, among other companies. 

Jed Pressgrove has been a writer and editor for about 15 years. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in sociology from Mississippi State University.