Burgum appoints Dr. John Warford of Bismarck to North Dakota Board of Higher Education

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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Dr. John Warford of Bismarck to the state Board of Higher Education.

Warford founded Warford Orthodontics in 1973 and served as mayor of Bismarck from 2002 to 2014. He then served as dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary in Bismarck from 2014 to 2017.

“Dr. Warford’s deep knowledge of public policy, leadership experience within higher education and business background will help the Board navigate the changes to higher education accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Burgum said. “We look forward to working with Dr. Warford and are grateful for all of the highly qualified candidates who applied for this position.”  

Warford earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Minnesota and his master’s in orthodontics at Northwestern University in Illinois. He has held many leadership roles on public boards and commissions including the North Dakota Dental Association, the American Dental Association, North Dakota Society of Orthodontists and the American Board of Orthodontists. Warford also is a member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and serves on the boards of the CHI St. Alexius Resource Cabinet and the YMCA Board of Regents.

Warford will serve out the unexpired term of former Board of Higher Education member Joseph A. Wetch Jr., who resigned from the board in August. The term expires June 30, 2024. Warford’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate during the 2021 legislative session, but he will begin serving on the board immediately.

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members appointed by the governor, including one student member, and two non-voting members who represent the North Dakota University System’s faculty and staff. The board oversees the system’s 11 public colleges and universities.

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