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Gov.-elect Burgum announces new office structure, names team

Gubernatorial candidate, Doug Burgum talks about his campaign for governor now that Wayne Stenehjem was nominated at the Republican convention. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

BISMARCK—Incoming North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's promise to reinvent state government has apparently started with new structure for the governor's staff.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the day before he officially takes office, Burgum announced he will create roles for chief operating officer and chief administrative officer, which will be filled by Jodi Uecker and JoDee Hanson, respectively.

Uecker chaired Burgum's transition team since the Republican won election Nov. 8 and will "work closely with the governor and his appointed agency heads on strategic and cross-cutting initiatives designed to improve processes, spur innovation and reinvent the delivery of services to realign government for the 21st century," according to the news release.

Hanson will oversee communications, office operations, the policy team, constituent services and boards and commissions. Hanson also served on the transition team.

Ron Rauschenberger, who has served as chief of staff for Govs. John Hoeven and Jack Dalrymple, "will serve as senior adviser to ... Burgum during a transition period," Burgum's team said. Bismarck attorney Leslie Bakken Oliver will be Burgum's general counsel.

Other hires announced Wednesday were:

-Rebecca Ternes will be director of agency operations.

-Robert Lauf will work as a policy adviser.

-Levi Bachmeier will serve as a policy adviser.

-Cassandra Torstenson will be a policy adviser.

-Justin Schulz will be Burgum's executive assistant.

-Jill Schwab will serve as Burgum's scheduler.

Research analyst Jason Nisbet, Shelley Haugen in constituent services and Lyndsay Witt, the executive assistant to the lieutenant governor, will continue to serve in the governor's office.

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