The new acting Secretary of the Oklahoma Land Office is A. Brandt Vawter, a former oil and gas investment company.
Gov. Kevin Stitt made the announcement this week.
“I am pleased with the Commission’s selection of Mr. Vawter as the acting-Secretary of the Land Office,” said Gov. Stitt. “Vawter’s rich history in the energy sector and knowledge of Oklahoma lands will be a valuable asset to the CLO.”
Selected by Commissioners Governor Stitt, Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, Superintendent of Education Joy Hofmeister, State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd, and Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur, acting-Secretary Vawter is responsible for managing the state school land trust assets established at statehood.
Prior to joining the CLO, Vawter was the founder and CEO of Monticello Investments, LLC, a Midcontinent non-operated oil and gas company, and Monticello Real Estate, LLC an Oklahoma City residential real estate company. Prior to launching these companies, Vawter founded and sold Deep Creek Resources, LLC, a non-op oil and gas company with assets in Texas and Montana.
The ability to start these companies was built on experience gained from working in escalating levels in Land for XTO Energy in Fort Worth, Texas and Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as well as a field landman in Indiana, Kentucky, and Texas. Vawter has stepped away from his business in order to serve in this new role.
Vawter earned a bachelors in science in economics from Texas Christian University. He served for three years on the University of Oklahoma Board of Advisors for the Energy Management school, Oklahoma City Association of Professional Landmen Board for the past years 12 years, and is active in the American Association of Petroleum Landmen.
The Commissioners of the Land Office owns and manages over 750,000 acres of land in Oklahoma, making the agency the second largest owner of real estate in the state. More than 1,100,000 acres of minerals provide great opportunity for the trust to grow, with the continuing growth in energy in Oklahoma.
The Land Office has permanent trust investments valued at over $2.4 billion. Before Oklahoma became a state, Congress set aside land in Oklahoma for the sole purpose of generating revenue to support public education. Oklahoma’s constitution establishes the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office as the keeper of the “sacred trust.”