OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday that the Commissioners of the Land Office named A. Brandt Vawter as acting secretary of the office, which was made effective July 1.

"I am pleased with the commission's selection of Mr. Vawter as the acting secretary of the Land Office," Stitt said. "Vawter's rich history in the energy sector and knowledge of Oklahoma lands will be a valuable asset to the CLO."

Selected by commissioners Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, Superintendent of Education Joy Hofmeister, State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd and Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur, Vawter is responsible for managing the state school land trust assets established at statehood.

Prior to joining the CLO, Vawter was founder and CEO of Monticello Investments LLC, a Midcontinent non-operated oil and gas company, and Monticello Real Estate LLC an Oklahoma City residential real estate company. Prior to launching these companies, Vawter founded and sold Deep Creek Resources LLC, a non-op oil and gas company with assets in Texas and Montana.

The ability to start these companies was built on experience gained from working in escalating levels in Land for XTO Energy in Fort Worth, Texas, and Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City, as well as a field landman in Indiana, Kentucky and Texas. Vawter has stepped away from his business to serve in this new role.

Vawter earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Texas Christian University. He served for three years on the University of Oklahoma Board of Advisors for the Energy Management School, the Oklahoma City Association of Professional Landmen Board for the last years 12 years and is active in the American Association of Petroleum Landmen. Vawter lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Amber, and two children.

The Commissioners of the Land Office owns and manages over 750,000 acres of land in Oklahoma, making the agency the second largest owner of real estate in the state. The Land Office has permanent trust investments valued at over $2.4 billion.

Before Oklahoma became a state, Congress set aside land in Oklahoma for the sole purpose of generating revenue to support public education. Oklahoma's constitution establishes the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office as the keeper of the "sacred trust."