Noem Invites “Trailblazers” to Apply for Cabinet Openings, Announces Key Administration Appointments

Noem Invites “Trailblazers” to Apply for Cabinet Openings, Announces Key Administration Appointments

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor-elect Kristi Noem today announced a targeted talent search for seven key cabinet posts: Secretary of Education, Secretary of Agriculture, Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Secretary of Social Services, Secretary of Human Services, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Secretary of Tribal Relations.

“This isn’t politics as usual; this isn’t the status quo,” said Governor-elect Kristi Noem. “I’m looking for a team of trailblazers, people who aren’t afraid to innovate and work hard to accomplish real results for South Dakota. We are seeking dedicated individuals to fill these key cabinet seats, and I’m committed to finding the right partners to help lead our state into a brighter, stronger future.”

Those wishing to be considered for the cabinet, or to offer nominations, should apply on Governor-elect Noem’s transition website.

Additionally, Governor-elect Noem today announced the following cabinet appointments, which she will make upon taking office January 5, 2019:

Secretary of Public Safety

Craig Price will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Public Safety. Price has served in law enforcement for 21 years and has been superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol since 2011.

Secretary of Transportation

Darin Bergquist will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Transportation. He has served as secretary since 2008. Bergquist joined the department in 1998 after working in the Bureau of Administration.

Secretary of Revenue

Jim Terwilliger will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Revenue. Terwilliger is the state economist and the deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management (BFM). He has been with BFM since 2006.

Secretary of Tourism

Jim Hagen will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Tourism. Hagen has served as secretary since 2011, and previously served as Secretary of Tourism and State Development. Hagen has also worked as national campaign director and public relations director for the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.

Secretary of Game, Fish and Parks

Kelly Hepler will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Game, Fish, and Parks (GFP). Hepler joined GFP as secretary in 2015, following a career in leadership roles in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Secretary of Labor and Regulation

Marcia Hultman will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Labor and Regulation. Hultman has served as secretary since 2014. She previously served as deputy secretary and has served in the department since 1997.

Secretary of Health

Kim Malsam-Rysdon will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Health. Malsam-Rysdon has served as secretary since 2014. She previously served as Secretary of Social Services and in leadership roles in the Department of Social Services and the Department of Human Services.

Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources

Steve Pirner will serve in the Noem administration as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. Pirner was first appointed as secretary in 2000. He has been with the Department of Environment and National Resources since 1979.

Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration

Scott Bollinger will serve in the Noem administration as Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration. Bollinger has been commissioner since 2017. Having served in state government for over 35 years, he has experience in the Bureau of Finance and Management and the Department of Corrections.

Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources

Laurie Gill will serve in the Noem administration as Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources (BHR). Gill has led BHR since 2013. She previously served as Secretary of Human Services and has held leadership roles in the Department of Health. Additionally, Gill served nine years as the mayor of Pierre.

The Governor-elect also announced the following interim cabinet appointments, who will serve until a search for their positions is conducted following the 2019 Legislative Session:

Interim Commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications

Pat Snow will serve in the Noem administration as interim Commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Technology (BIT). Currently serving as BIT’s chief technology officer and director of telecommunications, Snow has served as interim commissioner since earlier this year.

Interim Secretary of Corrections

Laurie Feiler will serve in the Noem administration as the interim Secretary of Corrections. Currently serving as the department’s deputy secretary, Feiler has been with the Department of Corrections since 1984.

“While we recruit new talent, we must also retain the best and brightest who have already committed themselves to serving South Dakotans,” Noem continued. “I’m thrilled to partner with proven public servants while also bringing new faces and ideas into public service. We are building a team of experience and new perspectives, insight and innovation. Together, I’m confident we will create an infrastructure of results for the next generation.”

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14 Replies to “Noem Invites “Trailblazers” to Apply for Cabinet Openings, Announces Key Administration Appointments”

    1. Anonymous

      You need good people. 99.9% of people in government are public servants. Politicians are not the only noble way to serve. Thank goodness there are talented people who choose to serve SD for a few years or a career.

      Institutional knowledge is incredibly important. It’s also important to have people who can think outside the box and have new ideas.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Right. The ones you are keeping are always going to be settled first. A lot of very high-profile vacancies on this list: education, economic development, corrections, social services, agriculture.

      Reply
  1. Pat Powers Post author

    I think it’s a decent balance of new people, along with retention. While some people want a wholesale up-ending of the cart, I don’t think that’s realistic. You have to make sure the trains still run on time.

    Reply
  2. anon

    Generally good picks – a lot of good managers. I’m a little surprised that GFP Secretary is staying on. I hear many staff aren’t a big fan. Also interesting about Social Services. They’ll have to beg someone to take that job for what it pays. Isn’t DSS like a third of the state budget? It’s a big important job and to attract someone it may require more pay than what it’s been in the past.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      The GFP Secretary is a good friend of Rhoden; once Rhoden was nominated as Lt. Governor Hepler was almost guaranteed to come back.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Sec. of Ed. will come out of the Mickelson network. Likely will have the following three priorities:
      1. Expanding career readiness/internships tracks in SD high schools.
      2. Developing private-public partnerships to expand school choice through charter and apprenticeship models.
      3. Eliminating postsecondary unions.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Supt Graves from Mitchell has lobbied for the Sec Ed job under Rounds and Daugaard to no avail. Very conservative and private school friendly. This might be his time.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Completely understand the need for an orderly transition. Without addressing the individual qualities of any one or more of the appointees, one can’t help but look at the length of tenure of many of them. When folks comment on an “entrenched bureaucracy”, perhaps they should look in the mirror and see what we have in place in Pierre.

    Reply

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