OKLAHOMA CITY -- Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor will have a new job after she leaves office in December. Taylor has been appointed as Governor's Chief of Education Strategy and Innovation.
Governor Brad Henry announced the executive appointment Wednesday morning.
Taylor has never held a job in education, but has long been an advocate for children and education.
"I'm thrilled that Mayor Taylor has agreed to serve my administration and the state in this new and important role," said Gov. Henry.
"As she does with all of her endeavors, Kathy will bring great expertise, high energy and a laser-like focus on the task at hand. I want Oklahoma to enhance its reputation as a national leader in educational innovation, and Kathy Taylor has the skills to help us accomplish that goal."
The new post will be a full-time, cabinet-level position in the executive branch, but Taylor said she will be volunteering her time and will not accept a state salary.
"I had not planned to return to public service this quickly, but Gov. Henry made me an offer I could not refuse," said Mayor Taylor. "Our public education system is so critical to the future of this state and many important decisions about its direction will be made in the next year.
"With the federal government encouraging and rewarding innovation with the Race to the Top grants and other initiatives, we have a small window of opportunity to make a great difference for our state."
Speculation has followed Taylor's decision to leave office without running for re-election. She will remain in Tulsa through her current term which ends December 7.
Taylor formerly worked for the governor's office in the commerce and tourism department.