BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Brad Hawk to serve as executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, effective immediately, citing his proven track record of leadership within the agency and his strong commitment to building state-tribal partnerships and relationships.
Hawk has served as interim executive director of the Indian Affairs Commission since Nov. 14, assuming the role after the departure of former Executive Director Nathan Davis. Hawk was named deputy director of the Commission in January 2023 and previously served as its Indian health systems administrator since July 2013.
Prior to joining the Indian Affairs Commission, Hawk served for 11 years in various roles at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, including as associate vice president of community wellness from 2012 to 2013. An enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, he earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration from the University of South Dakota and a master of business administration degree from the University of Mary in Bismarck.
“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. We are grateful for his willingness to serve and for the small but mighty team in the Indian Affairs Commission office.”
The Indian Affairs Commission executive director serves at a cabinet level between North Dakota's state and tribal governments to address issues including education, the legal system, economic development, social services, gaming, energy, infrastructure and health care.
“I am humbled and grateful to have the support of Governor Burgum and Team ND to be selected as the next leader of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission,” Hawk said. “I look forward to improving tribal engagement with the work between the five tribal nations and state leaders. I’m confident using future collaborations to enhance current efforts will help address challenges and open new opportunities for tribal populations in North Dakota.”
The Indian Affairs Commission currently consists of Burgum; Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation Chairman Mark Fox; Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairwoman Janet Alkire; Spirit Lake Nation Chairwoman Lonna Jackson-Street; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Chairman Jamie Azure; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Chairman J. Garret Renville; and three at-large members, Leander “Russ” McDonald, Viola LaFontaine-Slater and Erica Thunder.