OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - J.D. Strong has been picked by Gov. Brad Henry to be his secretary of the environment.

Strong was chief of staff for Miles Tolbert, who recently resigned to take a post in the private sector.

The new secretary has worked on environmental issues since he earned a degree in wildlife ecology at Oklahoma State University and went to work as an environmental scientist for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board in 1993.

He became a special assistant to the secretary of environment in 1996 and became chief of staff in 2003.

He helped implement the state and federal relocations of families in the Tar Creek Superfund site.

Strong lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Kalli, and daughter, Edyn.