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TSET Board of Directors Announces New Executive Director – Former TSET Director of Public Information and Outreach Named Top Executive

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 29, 2019) The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Julie Bisbee, former Director of Public Information and Outreach, as the agency’s new executive director.

The board unanimously voted to extend the position to Bisbee at the regular board meeting on Thursday after a comprehensive selection process that began in January after the previous executive director John Woods resigned to take a post with the University of Oklahoma. Bisbee was named Interim Executive Director upon Woods’ departure.

“Julie brings an exceptional understanding of the intricacies of TSET operations along with a passion and vitality for innovative thinking,” said Bruce Benjamin, Ph.D., TSET Board Chair. “Her leadership, growth and enthusiasm have been remarkable since taking the Interim Executive Director’s position. We’ve witnessed her commitment to TSET in action as she boldly grasped the reins of the organization maintaining transparency, accountability and continuity.”     

“TSET works with the public and private sectors to uniquely meet community needs through an exceptional government organization that is committed to improving the health of all Oklahomans. I share that dedication and am honored to serve TSET in a new role,” noted Bisbee.  “This is an ideal time for TSET to accelerate the momentum achieved by the first two TSET Executive Directors and to join our new Governor in setting new benchmarks for health excellence in Oklahoma.” 

Bisbee joined TSET in 2012 serving as Director of Public Information and Outreach after a 10-year career as a journalist. She was responsible for communicating with law makers, policy makers and stakeholders about TSET’s impact on the health of Oklahoma communities. Bisbee represents the agency at the State Legislature and leads statewide efforts to inform the public about the TSET funded work to reduce the leading causes of death in Oklahoma – cancer and cardiovascular disease – by preventing and reducing tobacco use and obesity.

Sixty-seven quality applicants applied for the TSET executive director position. The board evaluated and considered the qualifications of each candidate based on their experience, job skills and alignment with TSET’s challenge to improve the health of every Oklahoman. Bisbee was selected from three finalists who met in executive session with the full board on Thursday.

The Board worked with Tulsa-based Switchgear Search and Recruiting to conduct and oversee the application process. Switchgear is an approved statewide contractor for executive search services. Bisbee’s annual salary will be $120,000. That is within the statutory TSET salary range administered by OMES (Office of Management and Enterprise Services).

Created by Oklahoma voters in 2000, TSET is an endowment trust established with payments from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and the tobacco industry. TSET uses the earnings from the endowment to support statewide educational initiatives and community grants to promote healthier lifestyles and prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, Oklahoma's leading causes of death.

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.