James D. Couch was appointed City Manager of the City of Oklahoma City on Nov. 9, 2000, retiring on Jan. 2, 2019, as the longest-serving City Manager in our history
Mr. Couch served on the following City-related boards and agencies: Oklahoma City Airport Trust, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, Oklahoma City Zoological Trust and the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. Also, Mr. Couch served as General Manager of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Schools Trust, which oversaw a half-billion dollar construction program, and as General Manager of the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority and Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust.
Mr. Couch served on the Downtown Oklahoma City (DOKC) Board of Directors, Allied Arts, Oklahoma Fair Board, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is an ex oficio member of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation. In 2007, he was elected to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials. He also served as president of the Oklahoma Municipal League.
Mr. Couch led efforts to ensure Oklahoma City's long-term access to dependable water sources by securing rights to Canton Lake and Sardis Lake. He also negotiated two agreements with NBA franchises, the temporary relocation of the New Orleans Hornets and permanent relocation of the Thunder, to put Oklahoma City on the international sports stage.
Before his appointment as City Manager, Mr. Couch served as Assistant City Manager/MAPS Director for 2 ½ years and Water/Wastewater Utilities Director for 11 years. In those capacities he served as the General Manager of both the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust and the McGee Creek Authority and was responsible for the Water/Wastewater Utilities budget of $100 million annually, as well as the $390 million Metropolitan Area Projects capital construction program.
Previously, Mr. Couch held positions as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Edmond, Oklahoma; Public Works Director for the City of Casper, Wyo.; and, Office Director for Buell, Winter, Mousel and Associates, Consulting Engineers – Omaha, Neb.; Sioux City, Iowa; and Casper, Wyo. He received a Bachelor of Science – Civil Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Oklahoma. He received an honorary doctorate in Public Administration from Oklahoma City University in 2016. He and his wife, Cathy, are the parents of two adult sons, Jacob and Joey.