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From left: Kenneth Wagner, Dr. Kayse Shrum and Harold Hamm. (Photo by Ben Ehrlich)

Oklahoma State University announces inaugural Hamm Institute for American Energy executive director

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Media Contact: Jordan Bishop | Editor, Department of Brand Management | 405-744-7193 | jordan.bishop@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University announced the appointment of Kenneth Wagner as the inaugural executive director of the Hamm Institute for American Energy on Tuesday in Oklahoma City. 

With 23 years of experience in the energy industry, including serving as Oklahoma’s secretary of energy and environment, Wagner brings a high level of expertise to the role.

Ken Wagner
Kenneth Wagner

“Ken’s appointment to lead the Hamm Institute for American Energy represents a strong investment and commitment to the institute’s mission to become a global energy leader,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “Ken’s experience and deep knowledge of the energy industry will serve the institute well as it lives out its mission to educate the next generation of energy leaders and position Oklahoma as a global energy leader. 

“I look forward to Ken making an immediate impact as he works to help shape energy leadership in Oklahoma, the United States and beyond. On behalf of Oklahoma State University and the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, I want to congratulate Ken on being named executive director of the Hamm Institute for American Energy.”

The Hamm Institute for American Energy is founded on the guiding principle of solving humanity’s greatest energy needs. The Hamm Institute will develop the energy leaders of tomorrow by engaging industry and academia and developing practical, global, science-based solutions through collaboration, research and development.

“Ken’s knowledge of the industry and Oklahoma’s energy landscape makes him the perfect fit to work with energy leaders from around the world and help live out the institute’s mission,” said Hamm Institute Founder and Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm. “I am confident with Ken’s leadership the Hamm Institute will be recognized as the global leader for all things energy. The Hamm Institute will be a place where the best and brightest come together to responsibly solve the world’s energy needs.”

The announcement was made at Tuesday’s 15th Annual Oklahoma State University Energy Conference, which was hosted at the Hamm Institute for American Energy.

“Serving the people of this great state and country has been an honor. That service will continue as I have the privilege to lead the Hamm Institute in solving the world’s energy needs. With the current state of energy globally, there has never been a more important time for the Hamm Institute than now,” Wagner said. “I am grateful to President Shrum and Mr. Hamm for trusting me to step into this role and am ready to hit the ground running.”

Wagner’s experience includes a variety of regional and national energy industry positions. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, he attended the University of Tulsa College of Law before founding a full-service law firm that focused on corporate, energy and environmental cases. He then served as senior advisor to the administrator of regional and state affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since 2019, he has served as Oklahoma’s secretary of energy and environment for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, promoting the growth of responsible, clean and affordable energy while protecting Oklahoma’s natural resources and biodiversity. He will continue in this role until a replacement is named.

“Having worked with Ken as Oklahoma’s secretary of energy and environment, I can confirm firsthand that his leadership, knowledge and dedication to energy will serve the Hamm Institute well as it lives out its mission to champion energy and educate future generations,” Stitt said. “I am confident this appointment will allow the Institute to thrive and further elevate Oklahoma as a national leader in energy stewardship, research and education. I look forward to seeing how Ken’s leadership helps grow and strengthen the energy industry in Oklahoma.”

From left: Harold Hamm, Kenneth Wagner, Dr. Kayse Shrum and Jerome Loughridge. (Photo by Piper Reese)

In December 2021, an historic donation from the Harold Hamm Foundation and Continental Resources established the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University. A popular location to host symposiums, authors, speakers, summits and global conversations — and with a state-of-the art lab featuring wells drilled below the building, an auditorium and classrooms — the institute will be the premier hub of energy innovation.

For more information about the Hamm Institute for American Energy, visit go.okstate.edu/hamm-institute.

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