OKLAHOMA CITY - The executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs announced his retirement Friday.

Robert E. "Gene" Christian announced his retirement during discussions over the improvements and success of the agency Friday.

Christian's last day will be July 31, 2012.

"It has been a pleasure to serve this agency for five and half years," said Christian. "Our employees have been challenged with reductions in staff and budget cuts. Regardless of those challenges, they have been diligent and determined in their care for the youth of our state, while at the same time achieving successful results."

Officials said a search will now begin for a new director to head the agency.