Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was born in Mohall, North Dakota. He graduated from the University of North Dakota and received his law degree from the UND School of Law in 1977. He is married to Beth Bakke Stenehjem and has a son, Andrew.
Stenehjem was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1976, serving for two terms until his election to the ND Senate in 1980. He served for twenty years in the Senate until his election to the Office of Attorney General. Stenehjem served on the Judiciary Committee throughout his tenure in the Legislature, and was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995-2000. He was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate for the 1999 Legislative Session. In January 2001, Stenehjem was sworn in as the State’s 29th Attorney General. He was reelected in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Since taking office Wayne has:
- Made drug enforcement a priority, proposing legislation to developing a drug enforcement initiative which coordinates law enforcement, health and human service agencies, and as well as addiction counseling, youth education, and stronger penalties for offenders.
- Launched the state’s sex offender website to provide parents and other concerned citizens with access to information about the most dangerous sex offenders in the state. Since its launch, the site has received over 800,000 hits.
- Worked to enact and enforce legislation to curb methamphetamine (meth) use and addiction in the state by restricting retail sales of certain products used to manufacture meth, to provide mandatory treatment for drug offenders, and increase criminal penalties for drug offenders which has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the production and use of meth in North Dakota.
- Launched a Prescription Drug Abuse awareness campaign in conjunction with the state’s RX Drug Take Back pilot program which provides the public with a safe way to dispose of unused prescription drugs and over the counter medications.
- Established the state’s Do Not Call list, giving North Dakota consumers welcome relief from unwanted telemarketing calls.
- Has worked diligently to eliminate domestic violence in the state. He was awarded the “Love Without Fear Award” by the Abused Adult Resource Center, noting that, during his years in the Legislature, he had been a sponsor or cosponsor of every piece of legislation enacted in the state designed to curb domestic violence.
- Introduced an online Identity Theft program, designed to provide North Dakota victims with “one click” access to all the information and forms necessary to document and identity theft.
- Launched the state’s “Cold Case Investigations” squad to assist local law enforcement agencies with unsolved missing person and homicide cases. The squad utilizes advances in forensics and DNA technology and new investigative techniques to re-investigate evidence and explore new leads.
- Established a sobriety pilot program to keep repeat drunk driver’s from drinking and driving. Under the 24/7 Sobriety pilot program, repeat DUI offenders in the program area are ordered to complete breath alcohol testing twice a day as a condition of bond. If the offender drinks, the breath test will show it and the offender is taken directly to jail.
Attorney General Stenehjem is a member of numerous boards and commissions, including the Board of University and School Lands, Industrial Commission (which oversees all state-owned industries including the Bank of North Dakota and the State Mill and Elevator), Drug and Alcohol Commission (chair), Judicial Council and Pardon Advisory Board.
He was named one of Ten Outstanding Legislators in the US by the Association of Government Employees, and is the recipient of “Champion of the People’s Right to Know” award; SBAND Legislative Service Award; “Friend of Psychology” award; the 2005 North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association’s Lone Eagle Award, and was inducted into the Scandinavian American Hall of Fame in 2007.
Educating the community is an integral part of our joint efforts to combat the drug use and its related crimes. Following the success of his Methamphetamine awareness efforts, in December 2009, Wayne launched a Prescription Drug Abuse awareness campaign, beginning with two days of conferences attended by over 600 physicians, addiction treatment providers, and pharmacists, in conjunction with the Prescription Drug Take Back pilot program, to collect unused prescription drugs that are commonly abused.
Office of the Attorney General 600 E. Boulevard Ave, Dept. 125 Bismarck, ND 58505
Brent Sanford was elected North Dakota’s 38th lieutenant governor on November 8, 2016, and took office on December 15, 2016.
A Watford City native and third-generation business owner, Sanford served as mayor of his hometown from 2010 to 2016 and as a city councilman for four years before that.
Sanford brings a strong background in business and finance to the lieutenant governor’s office, coupled with a deep understanding of the importance of local control and the need to keep property taxes low.
Under his leadership as mayor, Watford City experienced a period of rapid expansion that saw its population skyrocket from about 1,500 to 7,000 amid the state’s oil boom. Major investments were made in community infrastructure, including a new high school, events center, airport terminal, hospital and law enforcement center, all while limiting property tax increases to 3 or 4 percent.
Sanford earned a degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota in 1994 and is a certified public accountant. He worked at Eide Bailly in Fargo for eight years before being hired as chief financial officer for Transwest Trucks, a multi-location truck dealership, financing and manufacturing operation with more than 400 employees headquartered in Brighton, Colorado.
In November 2004, Sanford became owner and president of S & S Motors in Watford City, an auto dealership founded by his grandfather in 1946. He steered the stagnant former Ford dealership to 10 consecutive years of sales increases and created a unique custom vehicle procurement service in an isolated western North Dakota community.
As a board member with the McKenzie County Job Development Authority, Sanford helped the region manage the economic swings of the Bakken oil play. He also is a founding board member of a community-owned nonprofit that established a 62-unit affordable housing complex for essential service workers and a 190-child daycare facility to help meet the area’s workforce and childcare needs.
As lieutenant governor, Sanford serves as president of the state Senate, leads the North Dakota Trade Office and chairs the State Investment Board, the Capitol Grounds Planning Commission, the Higher Education Challenge Fund Commission, the Early Childhood Education Council and the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Authority.
Sanford and his wife, Sandi, have three children, Sydney, Nicolas and Erin.
Office of Governor
State of North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0100
Doug Burgum took office as the 33rd governor of North Dakota on December 15, 2016. Doug brings a business leader’s approach to diversifying the economy, creating 21st century jobs, and revitalizing our main streets.
Burgum’s small-town upbringing and agricultural roots laid the foundation for his shared values of respect for the past, gratitude for the present and inspiration for the future.
Driven by a strong belief in North Dakota’s people and a powerful dream, he returned to his home state and helped lead Great Plains Software from a small startup company in 1983 into an award-winning tech firm that employed thousands of team members from more than 220 cities across North Dakota.
Burgum led Great Plains as CEO through its initial public offering in 1997 and acquisition by Microsoft Corp. in 2001. He remained at Microsoft as senior vice president through 2007, helping the company stake a leading position in the global business applications software industry.
In 2006, Burgum reaffirmed his passion for North Dakota by founding Kilbourne Group, a real estate development firm committed to creating smart, healthy cities through vibrant downtowns. The company’s substantial impact on revitalizing downtown Fargo inspired his Main Street Initiative.
In 2008, Burgum co-founded Arthur Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in ambitious, mission-driven software companies. The success of those people and businesses guided by Burgum’s leadership and inspiration has created billions of dollars of shareholder wealth and thousands of jobs.
In 2009, then-Gov. John Hoeven awarded Burgum the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, North Dakota’s highest citizen honor. The award recognized Burgum for his business leadership and numerous philanthropic efforts, including the Doug Burgum Family Fund, which focuses its charitable giving on youth and education.
Born August 1, 1956, Burgum grew up in Arthur, N.D. He has maintained his commitment and connection to his roots through family farm partnerships, by serving as a member for Arthur Companies, Inc., a diversified agribusiness company founded by his grandparents in 1906, and through a ranching partnership in the Badlands of western North Dakota.
Burgum graduated with a bachelor’s degree in university studies from North Dakota State University in 1978. He earned a master’s of business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1980.
He was elected governor on Nov. 8, 2016, in his first run for political office.
Burgum is married to Kathryn Helgaas Burgum and has two sons, Joe and Tom, and a daughter, Jesse.
Office of Governor
State of North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0100