OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 1, 2020) – State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd has appointed the associate general counsel for the University of Oklahoma (OU) to the Board of Directors of Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).
Susanna Gattoni was appointed to the TSET Board of Directors by Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd. Gattoni will represent the 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Oklahoma County and all of Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.
“The oversight and accountability of TSET funds is paramount to the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission,” Byrd said. “I look forward to the knowledge and insight Susanna Gattoni will bring the board as my designee. Susanna is an attorney who has gained a wealth of real-world experience during her career. She will be an asset to the TSET board.”
Gattoni earned her bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from OU where she graduated with highest honors. She has worked at law firms in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. From 2006-2008, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, working in both the white collar and violent crime sections.
Since 2018, Gattoni has provided legal advice to the OU administration as associate general counsel on both the Norman and Tulsa campuses. She represents OU in all state and federal investigations.
“TSET’s mission to improve the health of Oklahomans through prevention and research is one that speaks to me personally,” Gattoni said. “I’m excited for this opportunity to serve the people of Oklahoma by working with TSET to address the major causes of premature and preventable death in our state.”
In 2014, Gattoni was the recipient of the Courageous Lawyer Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association for pro bono work. She received the Leadership in the Law award from “The Journal Record” in 2012. She is a board member for Susan G. Komen Oklahoma and an alumni of Leadership Class 31 for Oklahoma City. She resides in Oklahoma City with her husband, Dameon Allensworth, and her son, Peter.
“Ms. Gattoni brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to the TSET Board of Directors,” said Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director. “Her knowledge, passion and desire to make a difference in the health of Oklahomans will be an asset as the board oversees the funding and outcomes of TSET grants and programs.”
The TSET Board of Directors, appointed by seven different elected officials and representing each of the state’s five congressional districts, oversees the expenditure of the earnings to fund grants and programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity. The Board of Directors also invests in cutting-edge research to reduce the toll of tobacco-related diseases in Oklahoma.
The 5th Congressional District was previously represented by Dr. Curtis Knoles whose term ended June 30.
TSET is funded by a portion of the payments received by the State of Oklahoma as part of a 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. The tobacco industry, found guilty of racketeering by a judge, make an annual settlement payment to the states. On each payment, 75% is deposited in the endowment for investment. The earnings from the endowment then fund grants and programs aimed at improving the health of Oklahomans.
Photo: Susanna Gattoni was appointed to the TSET Board of Directors by Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives 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. Learn more at TSET.ok.gov.
TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health