- Associated Press - Monday, August 24, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer is leaving government to operate her own business, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Monday.

Kommer served several roles in the Burgum administration, starting as state labor commissioner in 2016. She handled dual responsibilities in 2017 when she was named executive director of Job Service North Dakota. She took over the Department of Commerce in December 2018.

“We are deeply grateful for Michelle’s service, sacrifice, versatility as a leader and positive impact on the citizens of North Dakota,” Burgum said in a statement. “Most recently, she successfully led the Commerce team to support North Dakota businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Burgum said Kommer was instrumental in eliminating a backlog of cases in the Labor Department and drove the governor’s Main Street Initiative meant to improve the quality of life in North Dakota communities.

Kommer’s last day is Oct. 2.

“I am privileged to work with my team at the Department of Commerce who inspire me every day,” Kommer said in her resignation letter. “As I move on, I will remain indebted to them for their service and the impact they have had on me as a leader.”

Deputy Commerce Commissioner Shawn Kessel will serve as interim commissioner until a permanent replacement is named, Burgum said.

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