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TSET Selection Committee Expected to Make Recommendation for Executive Director Position

 Oklahoma City (October 26, 2016) – The hiring of a new executive director for the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) to succeed retiring Executive Director Tracey Strader continues to move forward. Ms. Strader announced earlier this year she plans to retire on January 6, 2017. She has served as the Executive Director since 2002.

Switchgear Search and Recruiting in Tulsa, Oklahoma is assisting in the management of this process at no additional cost to the agency.  The TSET Board of Directors reopened the search process following an announcement by the Board of Directors at their August 26 meeting. The posting of the job description on the TSET and Oklahoma Management Enterprise Services (OMES) websites on September 8, 2016 started a two-week recruiting period.

The TSET selection committee, consisting of board members Don Millican, Jim Gebhart and Casey Killblane, has been working with Switchgear to evaluate the pool of applicants to identify the best qualified person to lead the organization. The option to hire either an interim or permanent executive director remains a possibility. More than 58 people applied for consideration. The selection committee describes the pool of candidates as solid.

In keeping with the process, the committee extended invitations for interviews to a small group of applicants and finalists were selected. Following additional interviews, the committee expects to select the best qualified candidate to recommend for the consideration by the TSET Board of Directors.  The TSET Board of Directors will consider all of the applicants for the position, and the recommendation of the committee. A decision to make an offer will be considered in open session by the full TSET Board of Directors.

The selection committee issued the following statement:

“This is an extremely important hire for TSET. Tracey has done a remarkable job over the past 14 years building the organization and establishing programs complementing our mission to improve the health of every Oklahoman. As we prepare for a planned transition in leadership, we recognize the notable progress made over the years to tackle the two biggest causes of deaths among Oklahomans – cancer and cardiovascular disease. There is still plenty of work to be done and we will look forward to working with our next executive director to build on our successes and seek ways to wisely use our resources to educate and motivate Oklahomans to stop the progression of cancer and cardiovascular disease by adopting healthier lifestyles.”

The salary for the TSET executive director position will be in line with state guidelines to not exceed $143,714 annually.

The TSET Board of Directors is appointed by seven different elected officials and represents each Congressional district in the state. The TSET Board of Directors oversees the expenditure of earnings from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund.

TSET, created by voters in 2000, funds grants and programs to reduce the leading causes of death in Oklahoma – cancer and cardiovascular disease. TSET only uses the endowment earnings to fund a variety of grants at the state and local level aimed at preventing and reducing tobacco use and obesity.

More than half of all cancers are caused by preventable behaviors such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition. TSET also funds cancer research, works to increase the number of physicians in rural Oklahoma and funds the top-ranked Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.


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.