Heidi Heitkamp named director at UChicago’s Institute of Politics

The former U.S. Sen. from North Dakota begins her new role on Jan. 3, 2023.

Women smiling in picture.
Heidi Heitkamp.

FARGO — Former U.S. Sen. from North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp accepted a position as director of University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP), according to uchicago news .

“(Heidi Heitkamp) brings to the Institute of Politics her remarkable skill for advancing dialogue among individuals with varied perspectives… I am pleased to welcome her as its new director,” said University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos to uchicago news.

In the past, Heitkamp served as a member of the IOP’s senior advisory board and has been a pritzker fellow within the organization.

Her predecessor, David Axelrod, announced in February that he intended to leave the position.

Heitkamp has a long history in North Dakota politics, first as the North Dakota tax commissioner from 1986 to 1992, then the North Dakota attorney general from 1992 to 2000 before becoming a United States senator from 2013 to 2019.


She was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from North Dakota, although Jocelyn Burdick was the first woman to represent North Dakota in the U.S. Senate, serving for three months in 1992 to fill her husband’s seat after he died.

After the senate, Heitkamp worked as an ABC and CNBC contributor and began her work with the IOP. She also helped start the One County Project , which aims to help Democrats reconnect with rural communities. She serves as the president of the Board of Directors for the Renew Democracy Initiative as well as a board member for the McCain Institute and the German Marshall Fund.

Eager to begin her new role, Heitkamp shared on Twitter that “it’s an honor to join the (IOP) as their next director and to be able to watch these students and their passion for public service and preserving our democracy first-hand.”

The IOP is a nonpartisan organization that is “committed to fostering… a passion for public service, meaningful dialogue and active engagement in our democracy,” according to their webpage .

She begins her new role on Jan. 3, 2023.

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