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Former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry and former Republican Gov. Frank Keating will be the featured speakers at the "Conversations on Ethical Leadership" on April 23.

Center for Legal Studies and Business Ethics to host former governors

Monday, April 1, 2024

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

The Center for Legal Studies and Business Ethics (CLSBE) will host the third annual “Conversations on Ethical Leadership” at 3 p.m., April 23, at the Student Union Theater on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus.

Former Republican Gov. Frank Keating and former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry will join in a conversation with Spears School of Business Dean Jim Payne about what ethical leadership means to them. The event is free, and students and the public are invited to attend.

“The CLSBE is pleased to bring these two former governors to campus this year for this annual event, especially since it is a presidential election year,” said Laurie Lucas, director of the CLSBE. “This is an exciting opportunity for our students to hear from two chief executive officers who may bring different policy perspectives but who both demonstrated the ability to reach across the political aisle and move Oklahoma forward during their time in office. I hope their conversation with Dean Payne helps our students remain optimistic about the possibilities for a positive future in Oklahoma.”

Keating and Henry are two of only five former governors elected to serve two consecutive terms in Oklahoma. Keating was the state’s 25th governor, serving from 1995 to 2003, and Henry was the state’s 26th, serving from 2003-11. 

“I am looking forward to an insightful discussion on ethical leadership from former Oklahoma governors Frank Keating and Brad Henry,” Payne said. “Such a discussion will provide a forum for our students to listen and learn, and hopefully the importance of ethical leadership in making effective decisions for the betterment of Oklahoma and its citizens.”

After receiving his law degree from the University of Oklahoma, Keating worked for the FBI. He also served in the Oklahoma legislature. President Ronald Reagan appointed Keating as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, and later as assistant secretary of the Treasury, then to associate attorney general in the Department of Justice. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush elevated Keating to general counsel and acting deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Three months after his election as governor, Oklahoma City suffered the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing. His leadership is credited with helping Oklahoma handle that crisis, and he and his wife, Cathy Keating, worked tirelessly to assist victims and their families. Since leaving the governorship, Keating served as president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers and president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, among other pursuits.

Henry also received his law degree from OU, then practiced law in Shawnee, while serving 10 years in the Oklahoma State Senate prior to his 2002 election to the governorship. Recognized as one of the most popular governors in the state’s history, he was re-elected in 2006 by the largest vote margin in modern times.

In 2020, Henry was appointed by President Barack Obama as a charter member of the six-member Council of Governors. Henry also served as Chairman of the Council of State Governments, the Southern Growth Policies Board and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. He currently serves on numerous boards, including as Chair of the national board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Chair of the board of directors of the Regional Transportation Authority of Central Oklahoma. Henry is of counsel with the national business law firm of Spencer Fane LLP and is a founding member of Henry-Adams Companies LLC, a general and business development consulting firm.

Launched in 2019, the CLSBE promotes business and professional ethics and regulatory compliance through research exploring the intersections between law and business.

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