Visit CHICKASAW.NET

Neal McCaleb: My Story

Neal McCaleb

Oklahoma has a little over 100 years of statehood history, and Neal McCaleb has been here for 75 of them. One of the state’s most experienced champions, Neal’s roots go down deep, with family, tribal and career ties shaping his life.

Oklahoma has a little over 100 years of statehood history, and Neal McCaleb has been here for 75 of them.

Neal McCaleb

Civil Engineer & Public Servant


Neal McCaleb is a civil engineer and Republican politician from Oklahoma. The proud member of the Chickasaw Nation has served the national and Oklahoma state government in many capacities, bringing honor and recognition to his Native American heritage. In 2014 he was chosen as an honoree to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for his more than 50-year career in private practice and public service.

McCaleb graduated from Putnam City High School in 1953. He went on to attend Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State University) and graduated in 1957. He launched his own engineering and homebuilding business, Arrowhead Homes, Inc., in 1961 before embarking on his successful political career. McCaleb has received appointments from three presidents and four governors in his lifetime, and is held in high esteem both nationally and locally. His notable achievements and advocacy for Native American interests have had a strong influence in promoting a positive image for all American Indians. 

“His life’s work as a public servant is marked by professionalism, integrity and dedication,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said. “We believe his breadth of experience and depth of knowledge will continue to be a great asset to the Chickasaw Nation.”

Accomplishments:

  • Ambassador at Large for the Chickasaw Nation
  • Appointed by President George W. Bush to Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (2001-2003)
  • Appointed to Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation (1995-2001), by Gov. Frank Keating
  • Named Director of Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (1995-2001) by Gov. Frank Keating
  • Named Oklahoma’s first Secretary of Transportation (1987-1993), by Gov. Henry Bellmon
  • Elected Minority Leader of Oklahoma House of Representatives (1979-1983)
  • Elected to Oklahoma House of Representatives (1975-1983)
  • Served on the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission (1967-1972)
  • Appointed by President Richard Nixon to the National Council on Indian Opportunity (1972-1974)
  • Appointed to the President’s Commission on Reservation Economies (1983-1984) by President Ronald Reagan
  • Appointed to the Board of Regents for the University of Arts and Sciences by Gov. Brad Henry
  • Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 1999
  • Named 2005 OSU Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Named 2011 OSU Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2011 Native American Newsmaker of the Year
  • Appointed as Ambassador of the Year by Red Earth in 2012

CLOSE