NORMAN, OKLA. – During its March meeting, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents elected Natalie Shirley of Oklahoma City as chair and Eric Stevenson of Westerville, Ohio, as vice chair for the 2023-2024 term.
Shirley was appointed to the board by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2018. That same year, she was selected as the first female president and CEO of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
She is a former president of Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City and served as Fallin’s secretary of education and workforce development from 2015-2018. As secretary, Shirley worked with the governor to implement the Oklahoma Works program, designed to increase educational attainment for Oklahomans to produce a more educated workforce to support and cultivate the state’s economy.
From 2007-2011, Shirley served in Gov. Brad Henry’s cabinet as Oklahoma’s secretary of commerce and tourism. During this time, she was responsible for the Workforce Department and was liaison between the governor, five major state agencies, and more than 30 small agencies, authorities and institutions. She also served as executive director of the Department of Commerce, the state’s leading economic development agency.
Formerly, Shirley was president of ICI Mutual in Washington, D.C., after serving in various leadership roles in the company. An Oklahoma native, she graduated from Oklahoma State University and earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Shirley lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Bill and has six children.
Stevenson was appointed to the board by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2019. He previously served as a member of the OU Price College of Business Advisory Council, and on the boards of the National Association of Securities Professionals and the Salvation Army.
He is president of Nationwide Retirement Solutions, managing the team responsible for Nationwide’s retirement solutions business. Previously, he served as senior vice president of Nationwide Retirement Solutions Distribution, where he grew a national team of 500 associates responsible for growing assets and helping more than 2.5 million retirement plan participants prepare for and live in retirement.
Stevenson joined Nationwide in 2006, in life insurance marketing and soon after, he joined retirement solutions marketing, assuming roles of increasing responsibility. In 2007, he was named vice president of Nationwide Retirement Solutions Marketing for the public and private sector.
With 25 years’ experience in leadership roles, Stevenson had previously been with Quaker Oats and Warner-Lambert, where he managed sales and marketing for consumer-packaged goods and over-the-counter products.
A native of Wagoner, Oklahoma, Stevenson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance degree from OU and his Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Tim Rhodes of Oklahoma City was re-elected to serve as the board’s executive secretary. Rhodes joined OU in this role in June 2022 after serving as director of administration for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for six years. His decades of executive management experience of governmental entities and boards also includes serving as Oklahoma County District Court Clerk. A licensed attorney, he is a two-time alumnus of OU, having earned both a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Juris Doctorate.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit ou.edu.