Steve Buck – Juvenile Affairs

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“Reinventing Juvenile Justice”

Steven Buck has served the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) since February 2016. As the Executive Director, Mr. Buck is responsible for the overall management of the agency’s portfolio of operated and contracted programs and services. He works directly with the agency’s governing board to facilitate agency priorities, planning and operational performance.

Prior to joining OJA, Buck served the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) as deputy commissioner for communications and prevention for nine years. At ODMHSAS, Buck directed the agency’s prevention and provider certification initiatives. He also managed both internal and external communications and was the agency’s lead on state legislative relations and worked collaboratively with the agency leadership team in policy development and implementation.

Before working at ODMHSAS, Buck enjoyed a ten year career with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. During his tenure, he served in multiple capacities, including national director of state policy, national director of state relations, and executive director of NAMI Oklahoma. As national director of state policy, Buck provided oversight and consultation in the area of public policy development to the 50 NAMI state organizations.

Buck has advocacy experience in multiple state legislatures and has been involved in numerous political campaigns and policy initiatives. His professional career has included collaborative work in the policy areas of mental health, substance abuse, human services, corrections and juvenile justice.

He and his wife, Lisa, have four daughters and two sons. A native Oklahoman, he is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He has completed all course work for a Masters in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma with the thesis remaining.

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Steve Kerr is an Oklahoma City native and the life-long resident of Central Oklahoma. After graduating from Bishop McGuinness High School, Steve attended Southern Methodist University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in History, Political Science and Art History. That is also where he met his wife of 33 years, Beth Kerr.

Following SMU, he attended Oklahoma City University Law School, graduating in 1985. Steve worked in the prosecution division of the Oklahoma City Municipal Counselor’s office and in the Criminal Division of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office under Robert Henry and Susan Loving. In 1994, Steve opened his own law office where he practices in the areas of probate, family law, adoptions, small business start-ups and non-profit organizations.

Steve became a trustee of the Kerr Foundation, Inc. in 1986 and has served on that board since that time, holding the positions of secretary and, now, vice president.

Steve is a member of the Family Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association and is a former President of the Board of Summerstock Productions, Inc., Edmond’s community theater. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma City Art Museum and the board of Allied Arts of Oklahoma City. He has served as a member of the Associate Boards of the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra and Red Earth, and on the boards of directors of the Edmond Arts and Humanities Counsel and the Edmond Fine Arts Center. He was named an Outstanding Volunteer by Allied Arts in 1989 and is a current member of the Oklahoma City Rotary Club and a former member of the Edmond Rotary Club. He also served as a member of the Legislation Committee of the National Council on Foundations and the board of the Friends of the S.M.U. Libraries. Steve is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, Class XXVI.

Steve and Beth are empty-nesters living in Edmond. Their eldest son, James, is a model and actor in Los Angeles and their younger son, Wilson, is a city planner for the City of Garland, Texas. Steve’s interests lie in art, theater, football, basketball, traveling, skiing and being dad to two chocolate Labrador Retrievers, an English Short Haired Pointer and a cat of very good humor.


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