John Ratliff named Lawton City Manager


October 24, 2023

Caitlin Gatlin | Communications & Marketing Manager

The Lawton City Council has appointed John Ratliff as City Manager, effective October 24, 2023.

Ratliff has served the City of Lawton as the City Attorney since January 11th, 2021, and was named Acting City Manager in March 2023.

As the highest-ranking administrative officer of the city, the City Manager plays a pivotal role in overseeing the day-to-day operations and ensuring the delivery of essential services to our citizens.

Prior to assuming employment with the City of Lawton, Ratliff served in the U.S. Army as an active-duty officer for over 22 years. Originally from Midwest City, Oklahoma, Ratliff was commissioned as an Air Defense Artillery officer upon graduation from the University of Oklahoma Army ROTC program as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1998. During his stellar military career, Ratliff deployed in support of overseas contingency operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his service in the CENTCOM Area of Operations.

John has earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from Oklahoma City University and a Master’s degree of Public Administration (M.P.A) from the University of Oklahoma. He also earned a Master’s degree of Legal Letters (L.L.M) in Military Law from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA. Ratliff has also received a Bachelor in Arts (B.A.) and Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees in History from the University of Oklahoma and Oscar Rose Junior College respectively. Ratliff has been licensed to practice law in Oklahoma since 2007. Ratliff has also been admitted to practice before the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Ratliff is a dedicated community volunteer that has served both here in Lawton and at past duty locations while he served in the Army. Ratliff has previously been awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM) for his volunteer service in Army communities. Ratliff and his wife Krista are both active volunteers for Boy Scouts of America and have previously volunteered with Holiday in the Park and various youth sports leagues as coaches.

“John has done an incredible job leading a team of over 800 employees in the past eight months,” said Mayor Stan Booker. “He has embraced the True North Culture we are striving for and will continue to improve the City of Lawton in his new capacity as City Manager.”

 Ratliff shared his enthusiasm for the new role, saying, “I am honored and humbled to have been chosen as City Manager. I look forward to continuing work with the City Council, city staff, and our community to maintain and enhance the quality of life in Lawton.”

Ratliff succeeds Michael Cleghorn, who resigned from the position in March 2023.


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