Ming, however, said there is no conflict of interest in him taking the new position.
“The Quick Action Closing Fund was established to attract new business to Oklahoma, and that's what it was used for. That was the governor's decision, not mine,” Ming said. “It's a great company coming here. The offer to lead the organization here came after that decision was made.”
Before accepting the state energy secretary position in 2011, Ming served as president of the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, a nonprofit organization designed to help meet the country's energy needs with domestic resources. Previously, he was an independent natural gas producer in Oklahoma.
GE spokesman Todd Alhart said the company is pleased Ming has accepted the position and that his 30 years of industry and public service experience will aid development of the new center.
GE has not decided on a location within the Oklahoma City area for its new facility, but hiring has already begun, Alhart said.
“We hope to be operational before the end of the year,” he said.