'85 BA Economics
Has Politics Become Too Political? 1:30 pm, Thursday, March 2, Dale Hall 218
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.
Henry was a President's Leadership Scholar at the University of Oklahoma, where he received the Gold Letseizer Medal as the Top Senior Graduate and earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1985. In 1988, Henry was awarded his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Law Review.
Henry served as Oklahoma's 26th governor. He was elected governor in 2002 and served two terms through January 10, 2011. Only the third governor to serve two consecutive terms, Henry was re-elected in 2006 by the largest vote margin in modern times and the second largest margin in state history.
Henry took office in the midst of one of the worst budget crises in state history but forged a historic bipartisan agreement among legislative leaders that shielded education and health care from massive cuts. Under his leadership, Oklahoma experienced an economic revival, with record budget shortfalls becoming record budget surpluses.
His greatest emphasis was on the improvement of public education. The governor’s initiatives raised teacher salaries and benefits to historic levels, put more resources into the classroom and set higher academic standards for students. The governor also expanded Oklahoma’s early childhood education programs, which are now rated among the best in the country, and dramatically increased funding for college scholarship programs.
In 2010, Henry was appointed by President Barack Obama to the six-member Council of Governors. The Council, created by an Executive Order of President George W. Bush, works closely with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other defense and national security advisors to exchange views, information and advice on matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard, homeland defense, and synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities.
Before his election as governor, Henry practiced law with his father, Charles, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and served ten years in the Oklahoma State Senate, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee and serving as vice-chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. A third generation Oklahoman, Henry was born in Shawnee and is married to the former Kimberley Blain. They have three daughters, Leah, Laynie and Baylee.