Burgum announces Clint Hill as Rough Rider Award recipient
Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday announced former U.S. Secret Service agent and author Clint Hill as the 44th recipient of the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state’s highest commendation for its citizens.
Hill served in the U.S. Secret Service from 1958 to 1975, protecting the presidency through five administrations: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson, President Richard M. Nixon and President Gerald R. Ford.
“Clint Hill is an exceptional North Dakotan who has risked his life and health time and time again to protect our nation and its commander in chief,” said Burgum, who informed Hill of the award Wednesday. “During his 17-year career with the U.S. Secret Service, he stood guard over the nation’s highest office through the many extraordinary and unprecedented historical events that occurred from the beginning of the Cold War through the 1960s and 1970s. His exemplary record of service at the highest level of national security continues to inspire pride and respect among North Dakotans, and we are deeply grateful for his lifetime of service.”
The Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award recognizes present and former North Dakotans who have been influenced by the state in achieving national recognition in their fields of endeavor, thereby reflecting credit and honor upon North Dakota and its citizens. Established during the 1961 Dakota Territory Centennial, the award was initially given as an honorary rank of Colonel in the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders.
The award will be presented to Hill in person at a date and location to be announced soon.
Governor outlines initiatives as IOGCC chair
Gov. Burgum on Monday outlined his initiatives for the coming year as chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) during the group’s annual conference in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.
His recommendations as IOGCC chairman include creating policy committees by partnering with the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation to foster more formalized engagement in an advisory capacity to White House cabinet leaders.
The governor stressed the importance of building healthy, vibrant communities with smart infrastructure to attract and retain workforce, as well as increasing oil and gas production and improving pipeline safety through innovation, not additional regulation. Burgum also thanked Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson for his leadership as chairman in 2018. North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms also delivered remarks at the conference.
The IOGCC is a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. The commission currently has 31 states as full members.
Kelsey Roth to serve as state’s next Chief People Officer
Gov. Burgum on Thursday announced the hiring of Kelsey Roth as the State of North Dakota’s next Chief People Officer and leader of Human Resource Management Services (HRMS), effective Oct. 30.
Roth has served as director of human resources at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota since January 2017. She previously worked in human resources management for Amazon.com for more than 10 years.
As chief people officer, Roth will build upon the extensive work accomplished by outgoing CPO Cheri Schoenfish, serving as state government’s top workforce strategist and organizational development leader with a focus on enhancing performance and productivity.
Roth also will lead the HRMS division within the state Office of Management and Budget (OMB), working toward a unified approach to human resources across state government to spur innovation and efficiency when it comes to recruitment, hiring, performance and development.
“Kelsey’s strong background in human resources and technology will serve our state well as we continue to place a high priority on attracting, developing and retaining high-performing team members to best serve the citizens of North Dakota,” Burgum said.
Burgum helps mark first public mission of UAS Integration Pilot Program
The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) successfully completed the first public mission of North Dakota’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program in Fargo on Saturday. Joining NDDOT in Saturday's mission was Gov. Burgum, Congressman Kevin Cramer, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, FAA Regional Administrator for the Great Lakes Region Rebecca MacPherson, Executive Director for Northern Plains UAS Test Site Nick Flom, along with many other project partners.
North Dakota’s team conducted UAS operations with Media and Emergency Response crews in flight over people at a tailgating event in the Fargodome’s west parking lot before the North Dakota State University football game on Saturday. The partners working on this mission with NDDOT and NPUASTS include: North Dakota State University, CNN, Botlink, Parazero, AirMap, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Adams Communication & Engineering Technology (ACET) and others. The North Dakota team obtained waivers from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the UAS flights at the Fargodome parking lot.
This is the first phase of North Dakota’s UAS IPP which is designed to help FAA create new regulations that will enable the safe and secure integration of UAS into national airspace systems.
Main Street tour swings through Fargo
Gov. Burgum met with city officials and community leaders and students in Fargo on Friday as a part of the administration's Main Street Initiative tour. The Main Street Initiative is one of the administration's five strategic initiatives with a focus on creating healthy, vibrant communities to attract and retain workers to help solve the state's workforce shortage.
The initiative includes a commitment to visit every city that signs up to become a Main Street community. Burgum, along with team members from the North Dakota Department of Commerce, took part in a listening session that featured city officials, community leaders and local students, and also toured the new city hall building and received updates on city projects.
Sanford speaks at investiture ceremony for Judge Douglas Bahr
Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford spoke Tuesday at the investiture ceremony for South Central Judicial District Judge Douglas Bahr at the Burleigh County Courthouse.
Bahr worked in the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office from 1991 to 2016, including more than 15 years as Solicitor General. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle were among those present to honor Bahr during the ceremony.
Bahr went into private practice in 2016 and returned to public service when Gov. Burgum appointed him in August to a South Central Judicial District judgeship, effective Sept. 1. Bahr filled the post vacated by Judge Sonna Anderson, who retired June 30.
During his remarks, Sanford highlighted Bahr’s long history of public service and shared some of the nomination statements provided by Bahr’s colleagues, including this one: “Doug possesses all of the qualities one would want of a District Court judge: excellent legal experience, impeccable integrity and a solid judicial temperament.”