Burgum names new cabinet members

(The Center Square) – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appointed Brad Hawk to serve as the executive director of the Indian Affairs Commission and Wayne Salter as commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Salter is the former deputy executive commissioner of access and eligibility services for Texas Health and Human Services, according to Burgum. He also served 17 years with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

“Throughout his career, Wayne has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the needs of vulnerable populations and ensuring that essential human services are delivered efficiently and effectively, and that experience will serve North Dakotans well,” Burgum said. “His skill at leading large organizations, his deep understanding of complex social support programs, and his dedication to harnessing technology and implementing innovative solutions will help drive HHS into the future.”

Sara Stolt served as interim commissioner after the resignation of Chris Jones in September. She will remain at HHS as a deputy commissioner, according to the governor.

Hawk succeeds former executive director of Indian Affairs Nathan Davis, who left in November.

“For more than a decade, Brad has demonstrated his ability to work through complex issues to strengthen the ties between the state of North Dakota and the five tribal nations with whom we share geography,” Burgum said. “His deep knowledge of the history, challenges and opportunities facing our tribal nations will serve all North Dakotans well as we continue working to strengthen our state-tribal relationships built on understanding and mutual respect, with tribal engagement as one of our five strategic initiatives.

Hawk has served as interim executive director since November.