Governor Ricketts names Chief Operating Officer

Governor Pete Ricketts has named Felix Davidson as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Office of the Governor of Nebraska. This position is a new position for the Governor’s Office. Davidson will work closely with the governor to help optimize state government through the implementation of best business practices and the use of new technology. Along with the governor, he will assist agency directors in setting goals and creating strategic plans so that agencies and department heads create better outcomes.

Davidson brings a broad range of skills to this position including operations leadership, change management, process improvement, process design, audit, compliance, and risk management. Since 2007, he has served as President of TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. where he oversaw a $200 million annual budget and 600 associates in four offices across the United States.

Previously, Davidson served as Managing Director of Investor Services and Director of Brokerage Operations for TD Ameritrade. Prior to his work in the financial services industry, he spent 6 years as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Davidson holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska.

“The creation of the COO position will help agencies take a client-centered approach to delivering services and improving outcomes,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Felix’s private sector experience in change management and process improvement will help state agencies operate more efficiently and effectively.”

“I look forward to working with Governor Ricketts to deliver on his promise to build a smarter, more efficient state government,” said Davidson. “By working together in a spirit of collaboration across agencies, we will find ways to help optimize our operations, which in turn benefits the taxpayers of Nebraska.”

Historical role of the COO in state government

Previous Nebraska governors, including Governors Charley Thone and Mike Johanns, have made changes to the office’s traditional staff structure to optimize management and align staff duties with their administration’s goals. Governor Ricketts has pledged to put his business experience to work for the people of Nebraska.

While the role of COO in the Governor’s Office may be new to Nebraska, other states have created similar roles. Tennessee has a Chief Operating Officer in the Governor’s Office that is appointed by the governor. In his role, the COO identifies opportunities to help state government services become client-centered and support agency directors in their role managing large organizations.

“In Tennessee, the COO role has been very effective in helping us provide better service to our citizens,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “It helps to have someone who wakes up every morning focused exclusively on how we can make our agencies work better for the people we serve.”

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