The Commission

Commission Co-Chairs

Gov. Brad Henry

Governor Brad Henry serves Of Counsel to the national business law firm of Spencer Fane LLP and is a founding member of Henry-Adams Companies, LLC, a general and business development consulting firm. Governor Henry served as Oklahoma’s 26th governor.  He was elected governor in 2002 and served two terms through January 10, 2011. Read More

Andy Lester

Andy Lester is a partner in the law firm Spencer Fane LLP and has a civil litigation and appellate practice emphasizing complex business, constitutional, and government law. While in law school, he served on President Ronald Reagan’s Transition Team for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Read More

Judge Reta Strubhar

On July 6, 1992, Judge Reta M. Strubhar was appointed as the first woman to sit on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals since the formation of the Court in 1907.  Subsequently, she served as the first woman presiding judge.  She has a bachelor’s degree in business education, a master’s degree in English and a juris doctorate. Read More


Robert H. Alexander, Jr.

Robert H. Alexander, Jr. is a trial lawyer and national trial counsel for some of the largest manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies in the world.  He is the founder of a law firm which bears his name and defends its exclusively Fortune 200 clientele in cases throughout the United States. Read More

Howard Barnett

Howard Barnett was appointed by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents to succeed Dr. Gary Trennepohl as president of OSU-Tulsa on Oct. 5, 2009. Before joining OSU, President Barnett was managing director of TSF Capital in Tulsa. He earned his juris doctorate from Southern Methodist University and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tulsa. Read More

Andrew M. Coats

Andrew M. Coats is Dean Emeritus and a Professor of Law at the University Of Oklahoma College Of Law. He was for many years a trial partner at the Crowe and Dunlevy Law firm in Oklahoma City, and, in public service, served as the district attorney of Oklahoma County and, later, as mayor of Oklahoma City. Read More

Valerie Couch

Valerie Couch took the reins as dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law on April 9, 2012. She is the law school’s 12th Dean and first woman to hold that position. For 13 years, she served as a federal magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma. Prior to her service on the federal bench, she was in private practice for 16 years with the Oklahoma City firm Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville. Read More

Maria Kolar

Maria Kolar is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where she teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, and capital punishment. Professor Kolar began teaching at the OU College of Law in 2013 and previously taught legal research & writing. Kolar obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School and also has a B.A. from the University Of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Philosophy from Emory University. Read More

Christy Sheppard

Christy Sheppard is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ada, Oklahoma. She has been an advocate for victims of crime and criminal justice reform for many years.  Her own family has dealt with the complex issues regarding the death penalty after her cousin, Debbie Carter, was murdered in 1982. Read More

Kris Steele

Kris Steele is executive director of TEEM (The Education and Employment Ministry), a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and incarceration in Oklahoma. TEEM offers educational opportunities, character development courses, job training and employment placement assistance to individuals reentering the community. Read More

Gena Timberman

For nearly 20 years, Gena Timberman has committed her professional career to the pursuit of planning and guiding cultural projects in Indian Country toward successful completion.  From 1999-2013, she championed the dream to build an American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma. Read More