Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Josh Teigen, director of the Economic Development and Finance Division at the North Dakota Department of Commerce, to serve as the state’s next commerce commissioner, citing his experience as an entrepreneur and private sector leader and his leadership of Commerce’s largest division.
Teigen has served as Economic Development and Finance Division director for two years. He previously served as head of investments and innovation at Commerce and on the board of directors for the North Dakota Development Fund. His private sector experience includes nearly eight years in leadership positions with Mind Shift, an innovative business solution to chronic underemployment and unemployment of individuals on the autism spectrum, and serving as president and chief financial officer of Protosthetics, a 3-D printing company. Teigen currently serves on the board of directors for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp.’s Growth Initiative Fund.
“With his valuable combination of experience as a private sector entrepreneur and director of Commerce’s largest division, Josh is well-suited to lead the highly capable Department of Commerce team in growing and diversifying the economy, addressing workforce needs, cutting red tape, developing healthy, vibrant communities and growing our tourism sector,” Burgum said.
Teigen earned a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship from the University of North Dakota and a certificate in alternative investments from Harvard Business School. Most recently, he led Commerce’s successful efforts to attract the North Dakota Soybean Processors soybean crushing facility, which broke ground last week near Casselton, and worked with international data center developer Bitzero to announce that it plans to locate its headquarters in North Dakota and redevelop a former military installation near Nekoma, N.D., into a highly secure data center.
“This appointment is truly an honor, and I’m grateful for the leadership of Governor Burgum and this entire administration. I love the state of North Dakota and look forward to this new role as an opportunity to move the state forward and continue the tremendous momentum built by the hard work of our public servants and private risk-takers,” Teigen said. “I’m thankful for the remarkable team members at the Department of Commerce as well as our partners in the legislature and other state agencies. North Dakota is the best place to live and build businesses and families, and we’ll continue working to ensure our state remains the gold standard for quality of life.”
Teigen’s appointment is effective Tuesday, Sept. 6. He succeeds former commissioner James Leiman, who resigned from the position effective June 30 to become the chief development officer with the Institute for Economics and Peace. Leiman continues to work for Commerce on a part-time basis to drive economic development projects in the state.
Burgum expressed his gratitude for Shawn Kessel, who has been serving as interim commissioner since July 1 and will now return full-time to his role as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commerce Commissioner.
The Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. The department has four divisions: Tourism, Economic Development, Workforce Development and Community Services.