Mayor G.T. Bynum announced today that Kathryn Junk and Anna America will join the Mayor’s Office in key roles to help serve the residents of Tulsa. Kathryn Junk will serve as the Chief of Staff to Mayor Bynum beginning Nov. 16 and Anna America will serve as the Chief of Culture and Recreation effective immediately.
Junk will be responsible for providing strategy and project management for Mayor Bynum’s Office, which includes guiding the comprehensive strategic direction of the City of Tulsa.
Jack Blair, who served as Chief of Staff for the past four years in the Bynum Administration, will serve as the Chief Operating Officer. Amy Brown will serve as the Chief Administrative Officer and Deputy Mayor of Tulsa.
“As we strive to make Tulsa a place of opportunity for all Tulsans, I can’t think of a better person than Kathryn to serve the city in this capacity,” Mayor Bynum said. “She will be critical in harnessing the full talent of our extraordinary team of public servants at the City of Tulsa as we move this city forward during the next four years.”
“Mayor Bynum has assembled a tremendous team and I’m honored to join them,” Junk said. “I look forward to working with Tulsans and departmental leadership as we advance programs that grow Tulsa and unite our community.”
Prior to joining the City of Tulsa, Junk held various roles at a Tulsa-based pipe distributor and from 2007 to 2010, worked for U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe in both a press and policy capacity. Junk is a Tulsa native and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.
As the new Chief of Culture and Recreation, America will remain the City’s Park and Recreation Director, but will also be responsible for the coordination and collaboration between the various culture and recreation partnerships the City of Tulsa has with the BOK Center, Cox Convention Center, Gilcrease Museum, Greenwood Cultural Center, Performing Arts Center and River Parks.
“Anna is a gifted public servant and I am thankful for the knowledge and leadership she will bring to this new role as so many transformative projects are on the horizon,” Bynum said. “With the construction of the Arkansas River Pedestrian Bridge, the creation of the Tulsa Parks and River Parks-Turkey Mountain Master Plans and the start of one of the largest Vision Tulsa projects, the Gilcrease Museum Renovations, it is important to have such a trusted Tulsan to help the City carry out these many projects.”
“I already got to have the most “fun” job in the city with parks and recreation,” America said. “It will be great to expand that to work on even more of the most fun and enriching things in Tulsa - our incredible public culture and arts entities. But it’s more than just fun and games – having vibrant culture and recreation opportunities is an essential part of making Tulsa a livable and healthy world-class city, and I am excited to be able to be part of that work.”
America has served as Tulsa Park and Recreation Director since Aug. 2018. Prior to her Tulsa Parks role, she served as the District 7 Tulsa City Councilor for four years while serving as the Chair for the City Council for a year. During her time as councilor and during her entire career, she has been a strong advocate for Tulsa’s park system and building a better life for children. America holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Tulsa and is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Tulsa.
Bynum also announced Ashley Philippsen, who previously served as the Deputy Chief of Community Development and Policy will continue her work as the Deputy Chief for Inclusive Economic Growth with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.
As Deputy Chief for Inclusive Economic Growth, Ashley will lead and support economic development strategy to ensure the City advances equitable economic growth, with the ultimate goal of ensuring economic development efforts increase economic opportunity and mobility for Tulsa residents.