50 Making a Difference Profile: Jari Askins, State of Oklahoma

By Record, Journal | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 21, 2007 | Go to article overview

50 Making a Difference Profile: Jari Askins, State of Oklahoma


Record, Journal, THE JOURNAL RECORD


"Stand for something or you will fall for anything."

That is one of the three main beliefs instilled in Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and her siblings by her parents.

"My personal goal is 'to treat other people as I want to be treated.' This has been my philosophy for both my personal and professional activities," Askins said. "'If you believe it, you can achieve it' was the energy for putting dreams into action as we strived to reach our goals."

The Duncan native said it is that moral foundation, strong work ethic and guidance of her parents that has helped her get to where she is today.

After graduating from Duncan High School, Askins went on to earn her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and her juris doctorate from the OU College of Law.

Her professional career includes an eight-year stint as special district judge for the District Court of Stephens County. During that time she became the first woman officer in the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. In 1991, the governor appointed her to the Pardon and Parole Board, which elected her as its first woman chairman. She later served as executive director of the Pardon and Parole Board and as deputy general counsel to the governor. These experiences helped develop criminal and juvenile justice issues as her special expertise.

Askins was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1994 from District 50, Stephens County. She served in the House for 12 years, earning the position of Democratic House leader in 2005, and becoming the first woman to lead a caucus in the Oklahoma Legislature. In January, Askins was sworn in as Oklahoma's 15th lieutenant governor. Her current role gives Askins the rare distinction of being involved in public service in all three branches of state government. …

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