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South Dakota's State Capitol building. Matt Gade / Forum News Service

Gov.-elect Noem appoints 12 to cabinet, continues search for seven more

PIERRE, S.D. - With January's inauguration quickly approaching, Republican Gov.-elect Kristi Noem has announced 12 appointments and interim appointments to her cabinet.

The vast majority of Noem's appointments are carried over from Gov. Dennis Daugaard's (R) administration, except for secretaries of public safety and revenue.

For secretary of public safety, Noem appointed Craig Price, who has served as South Dakota's superintendent of Highway Patrol since 2011 and in total, has a 21-year career in law enforcement.

Noem appointed Jim Terwilliger to serve as secretary of revenue. He is currently the state's economist and deputy commissioner for the Bureau of Finance and Management.

In her Thursday news release, Noem said she is still searching for candidates to fill seven remaining cabinet positions: secretaries of Agriculture, Education, Human Services, Social Services, Tribal Relations and Veterans Affairs, as well as commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

“While we recruit new talent, we must also retain the best and brightest who have already committed themselves to serving South Dakotans,” Noem said in the release. “I’m thrilled to partner with proven public servants while also bringing new faces and ideas into public service."

Noem's current appointments are as follows:

  • Secretary of Public Safety, Craig Price: With a 21-year career in law enforcement, Price has most recently been South Dakota's Highway Patrol superintendent since 2011.
  • Secretary of Revenue, Jim Terwilliger: Terwilliger is the state's economist and deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management.
  • Secretary of Transportation, Darin Bergquist: Bergquist has served as secretary of transportation since 2008, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Rounds (R). He has worked in the department since 1998.
  • Secretary of Tourism, Jim Hagen: Hagen has been the secretary of tourism since 2011, before which he was the secretary of Tourism and State Development.
  • Secretary of Game, Fish and Parks, Kelly Hepler: Hepler has served as the state's secretary of Game, Fish and Parks since 2015, after coming from Alaska's state Department of Fish and Game.
  • Secretary of Labor and Regulation, Marcia Hultman: Hultman has served as secretary of Labor and Regulation since 2014, before which she was deputy secretary of the department.
  • Secretary of Health, Kim Malsam-Rysdon: Malsam-Rydson has served as the department's secretary since 2014, when she was appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). She was previously secretary of Social Services.
  • Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Steve Pirner: Pirner has served as secretary of the department since his appointment in 2000. He has been with the department since 1979.
  • Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration, Scott Bollinger: Bollinger has been commissioner of the bureau since 2017. He previously worked in the Bureau of Finance and Management and the Department of Corrections.
  • Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources, Laurie Gill: Gill has served as commissioner of the bureau since 2013. She was previously the secretary of Human Services and worked in the Department of Health, and was the mayor of Pierre for nine years.

The interim appointments, who will serve until a full search is conducted following the 2019 legislative session, are as follows:

  • Interim Commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, Pat Snow: Snow has served as interim commissioner of the bureau for several months, and is the bureau's current chief technology officer and director of telecommunications.
  • Interim Secretary of Corrections, Laurie Feiler: Feiler is the department's current deputy secretary, and has served in the department since 1984.
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