About

MOVING IDEAS INTO ACTION

The Oklahoma Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving our state, one public policy at a time. But, we don’t work alone. We believe the people should have a say in their futures and quality of life, so we engage citizens across Oklahoma and involve them in every step of the proposal process. Our mission is to:

RAISE AWARENESS OF THE ISSUES

We host annual events and programs, where we help citizens understand how public policy issues affect how we live, work and play.

PROVIDE NON-PARTISAN, EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH

Nearly every public policy issue in Oklahoma from the last three decades can be found in our extensive library.

HOLD SPACE FOR CIVIL DISCOURSE AND CONSENSUS BUILDING

At our Town Hall event, we give citizens the opportunity to honestly and openly discuss the issues, determine the solutions, and collaborate to develop public policies that will achieve the greatest good. Then, we empower them to lobby their legislators and other policy makers.

We’ve covered a wide range of topics, including education, small business development, government structure, crime, technology and the future, and the state's constitution. We’ve achieved many milestones and accomplishments, and thanks to citizens like you, we continue to grow in numbers, reach and influence.
525 members of the
Oklahoma
Academy
47 pieces of legislation passed since the
adoption of the Town Hall process in 2011

5,325 participants in the 33 conferences
held since 1987
155 scholarships provided to enable college students to attend Town Hall events 

Staff

Julie Knutson

President and CEO

Lori Harless

Research/Resources Manager

Jamie Wade

Membership/Programs & Events Manager

History

PUBLIC POLICY RULED BY THE PEOPLE

Former Oklahoma governor and U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon knew the people were an important part of the equation for a successful state. After his first term as governor, Bellmon founded the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals in 1967 to create a public policy organization that was independent, nonpartisan and inclusive. His vision, which remains today, was to empower Oklahomans to improve their quality of life through effective public policy development and implementation.

The Oklahoma Academy was revitalized in 1985 and has been led by current President and CEO Julie Knutson since 1987. From 1985 to 2000, the Oklahoma Academy used a traditional conference format to form recommendations addressing critical public policy issues facing the state. Since 2001, the Oklahoma Academy has used a successful Town Hall model.

Bellmon Legacy Fund Campaign

HELP FUND OUR MISSION

Named in honor of the Oklahoma Academy’s founder, the Bellmon Legacy Fund Campaign seeks to support our operations by raising a $3 million endowment and $500,000 Reserve Savings Fund. When fully funded, this endowment will generate about $150,000 in annual earnings, which will be used for:

UNIVERSITY STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS

Currently, 10 college students are provided scholarships to participate in the annual Town Hall, but the process would benefit from the involvement of high school students and Oklahoma professionals, who may need financial assistance to attend.

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

Once Town Hall recommendations are officially released, we would hold follow-up forums and meetings in key areas of the state. This would very likely lead to more partnerships in putting the recommendations into action.

Help us continue our vital work for the people and the future of Oklahoma. Make a donation today. You may also download, print, complete and return this donation form to our office, or contact Jamie Wade for further assistance.