Mayor G.T. Bynum announced today that Kian Kamas will serve as the Chief of Economic Development for the City of Tulsa beginning March 1. Kamas has served as the Deputy Chief of Economic Development since June 2017.
Kathy Taylor, former Tulsa Mayor and Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce, served as the Chief of Economic Development for the past year with plans to return to her work in the community following Mayor Bynum’s first year in office. Bynum hired Taylor to renew relationships with the many City authorities, boards and commissions while focusing on business development. Under her tenure, the City adopted its first multi-development tax increment finance (TIF) district leading to the launch of multiple downtown projects.
“When I asked Kathy to join my administration, I knew it would not be for the long-term as she had many other projects underway. Kathy agreed to defer her projects for a year to help our Administration start out on the right foot,” Mayor Bynum said.
“In her short time here, the Economic Development Commission is alive again. The City has reoriented our sites to national competition and we have landed major new employers while empowering more local entrepreneurs to build the next great Tulsa business,” Bynum said. “The Mayor’s Office for Economic Development has also been reorganized based on professional guidance for optimum productivity. Kathy has done all of this work quietly and selflessly, because she loves Tulsa and I am tremendously grateful for her work to put our city in the best possible position to be successful.”
“I was honored to be a part of Mayor Bynum’s team and support the excitement and hope he has generated in Tulsa,” Taylor said. “I have completed the tasks I committed to the Mayor and the Economic Development Department is in good hands with Kian Kamas as my successor and Jim Coles as Executive Director of the Tulsa Industrial Authority. Count on me to remain involved in other ways in the city I love. And you never know, I may finally take that trip down Route 66 I’ve planned for a decade!”
As Chief of Economic Development, Kamas will be responsible for leading the city’s comprehensive economic development strategies aimed at adding jobs and growing the workforce.
Mayor Bynum said, “Kian has been an able Deputy to Kathy, leading many of our corporate recruitment efforts. Before that, she led similar efforts on behalf of the Tulsa Chamber. As we continue our work to make Tulsa a globally competitive city, Kian will be a great leader of those efforts.”
“It has been an honor working alongside Kathy and learning from someone who has such a depth of experience in local and state government, as well as in the private sector,” Kamas said. “At a time when Tulsa is seeing extensive growth and investment, the responsibility of leading the City’s economic development team is one which I don’t take lightly. I firmly believe that Tulsa’s brightest days are ahead of us, and realizing our full potential will take the collective, concerted efforts of everyone within our organization and countless external partners. I am excited to continue to play a role in the dynamic team that Mayor Bynum has built, and to do so at such a pivotal time in our City’s history.”
Kamas holds a Master of Science in Comparative Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.