Mary Fallin became the first female governor of Oklahoma on January 10, 2011, and was sworn in for her second term on January 12, 2015.
During her first session as governor, Fallin saw many of her legislative priorities signed into law including lawsuit reform, workers’ comp reform, comprehensive education reform and government modernizations. Fallin launched an initiative to increase the number of college graduates in Oklahoma to help the state attract and retain jobs. She also put forward a road and bridge plan to eliminate nearly all of the deficient bridges on the state’s highway system.
She served two terms in the Oklahoma House before becoming the first woman to be elected lieutenant governor of Oklahoma in 1994. In 2006, she was elected to the U.S. Congress. Fallin is married to Wade Christensen, Oklahoma’s first “First Gentleman,” and the couple has six children between them.
Wade Christensen was born in El Reno, Oklahoma, the hometown of his mother, Clairce Jo Christensen. His father, James Christensen, worked as a school principal in the El Reno School District and as a farmer in Thomas, Oklahoma. His mother was a teacher and pianist. He grew up farming and ranching the family’s land in western Oklahoma. He lettered in multiple sports and played several musical instruments. A fourth generation farmer and rancher, he was active in Future Farmers of America and was named Oklahoma’s first “Star Agribusiness man.”
Mr. Christensen earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa School of Law. He is currently a practicing attorney, specializing in litigation, banking, agribusiness, real estate, oil and gas, and other commercial related matters. He and his family are involved in farming, ranching, machinery sales, banking, real estate and agribusiness.
In addition to juggling his professional career and responsibilities as a father, Mr. Christensen is also a strong supporter of his wife’s role in public service. The first gentleman serves as chairman of the Friends of the Mansion and as an advocate for the Foundation of the Children’s Hospital. He also served as honorary co-chair of the Campaign For Justice Fundraiser benefiting Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, which provides legal services to those in need. For his efforts this past year, the Journal Record awarded him the Leadership in Law Award. Additionally, the first gentleman partnered with Oklahoma authors in creating a cookbook, “Getting Grilled by Wade Christensen,” to raise funds for a local nonprofit organization.
Mr. Christensen and his wife, Governor Mary Fallin, met as students at Oklahoma State University and later became reacquainted through their church. They married in November of 2009 and their combined family includes six children, Blake, Adam, Christina, Brittiany, Price and Alex. All of their children currently attend school or have found professional careers in Oklahoma.