Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Mike Schulz on Thursday announced the members of his leadership staff. These individuals serve the office of the President Pro Tempore and the members of the Majority Caucus.
Ashley Kehl will serve as chief of staff, replacing Jonathan Nichols who is leaving the Pro Tempore’s office after four years in that position to pursue another opportunity.
“Although we had hoped Jonathan would continue with the Pro Tempore’s office for at least two more years, he is leaving to pursue another exciting opportunity and we wish him the very best on his next venture,” Schulz, R-Altus, said. “Ashley Kehl will do a great job as the new chief of staff. She is a talented individual with a deep commitment to helping make Oklahoma a stronger and more prosperous state. Ashley joins a team of talented professionals, giving us a leadership staff with great expertise and enthusiasm to put to work for Oklahoma.”
Kehl previously served as a policy advisor in the Pro Tempore’s office. She most recently was a consultant at Victory Enterprise, a political consulting firm. She also served as press secretary for Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.
Pam Nordstrom will serve as executive assistant to the Pro Tempore. Nordstrom has served in a similar capacity for Schulz since he joined the Senate in 2006.
Kathryn Taylor will serve as senior policy advisor. Before joining the Pro Tempore’s office in September, Taylor was the director of human resources for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies.
Aaron Cooper will serve as communications director for the Pro Tempore’s office. Cooper joined the leadership staff in February. He has previously served in similar roles on the staffs of former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, Gov. Mary Fallin, and Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
Kalen Taylor will serve as legislative and research analyst. Taylor has held that position for a year and prior to joining the Senate served in a similar capacity at a Washington, D.C. think tank.
John Willbanks will serve as director of appointments. Willbanks has served in that role in the Pro Tempore’s Office since 2010.