Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs director Steve Buck has resigned from the agency and as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s secretary of human services and early childhood initiatives. Stitt appointed Buck to that position in February 2019. Buck’s resignations will take effect March 6, according to a press release.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as OJA’s executive director, working to reduce crime in our state and to empower more of our young people to find success in adolescence and adulthood,” Buck said in a press release. “OJA’s work is complex – we must promote public safety and accountability at the same time we build successful, productive members of our communities.”
Buck joined OJA in February 2016 after years of service at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services under then-Mental Health Commissioner Terri White. In January, White announced her resignation from ODMHSAS.
Buck had served as Gov. Mary Fallin’s health and human services secretary since November 2017. He became the first Fallin cabinet member to be retained in Stitt’s cabinet.
Now, Buck becomes the second member of Stitt’s cabinet to depart.
“Secretary Buck has been a dedicated public servant for the State of Oklahoma for 13 years,” Stitt said in the OJA press release. “His wisdom and input as my secretary of human services and early childhood initiatives has been invaluable as we work to move the needle in the overall well-being of Oklahomans. Through Secretary Buck’s strong leadership and vision, he has also led the OJA through transformational changes that focus on improving services and outcomes for our at-risk youth, both in and out of the juvenile system. Secretary Buck’s heart for our young Oklahomans is evident, as he worked each day to provide juveniles in the system with the care and attention needed to return to their homes, schools and society. I appreciate his commitment to our great state, and I look forward to seeing his continued impact as he begins this new chapter.”