BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the retirement of Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) Director Bryan Klipfel effective Dec. 31, thanking him for his more than 13 years of exceptional leadership of the agency and nearly 46 years of dedicated service to the State of North Dakota.
Klipfel has served as director of North Dakota’s workers’ compensation agency since 2009, currently overseeing a staff of about 260 WSI team members and a two-year budget of approximately $73 million. Prior to joining WSI, he served 30 years in the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the last four of those years as superintendent. Klipfel also served as interim executive director of Job Service North Dakota from 2019 until Jan. 1 of this year, when he returned to leading WSI full time.
“During his more than four decades of service to the state, Bryan Klipfel has improved the lives of citizens and team members alike by developing strategy that focuses on customers,” Burgum said. “From working to make our state safer through increased visibility and collaboration with other law enforcement, to providing relief to workers during the pandemic by handling 14 years of unemployment insurance claims in 14 months, to providing a safe, secure and healthy workplace, Bryan has been a champion for the well-being and safety for all, helping to ensure that North Dakota continues to be a great place to live and work.”
Klipfel began his law enforcement career in 1977 as a North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper in Rolla and Minot. He served as a district sergeant and commander in Williston and in 1992 was assigned as training director at the Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck. He was appointed superintendent of the Highway Patrol in 2003 by then-Gov. John Hoeven and reappointed, serving in the role until his retirement from law enforcement in 2007. He was appointed director of WSI by Hoeven in 2009 and reappointed in 2010 by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple and in 2016 by Burgum.
“I’ve been blessed with a wonderful personal and professional family, and the decision to retire was not an easy one, but it’s time to spend more time with family,” Klipfel said. “It has been an incredible privilege serving the citizens of North Dakota for the past 46 years. I appreciate the Governor’s support and the opportunity to serve as director of WSI. Over the last 13 years, the greatest thing I learned is Team WSI is resilient and talented. I am leaving them in good hands with a strong leadership team who will continue building on their purpose of caring for injured workers.”
Under Klipfel’s leadership, WSI developed and implemented a philosophy focused on strategy and servant leadership to successfully meet the purpose of caring for injured workers. With a strong focus on safety, injury rates have fallen by over 30% in the last decade, and during Klipfel’s tenure WSI has issued nearly $300 million in safety premium discounts to employers participating in WSI safety programs.
Workforce Safety & Insurance is an exclusive, employer-financed, no-fault insurance state fund covering workplace injuries and deaths. As the sole provider and administrator of the workers’ compensation system in North Dakota, WSI’s vision is a safe, secure, and healthy North Dakota workplace. The director’s position will be posted immediately.