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ND Department of Commerce hires northwest Minn. city admin

James Leiman, pictured here in March 2016, was hired by the North Dakota Department of Commerce and offers "an extensive background in community development," according to Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

BISMARCK — The top staffer for the city of Ada, Minn., has taken a new job at the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the state agency said Thursday, May 17.

James Leiman will work as the department’s senior manager of economic development initiatives and will “focus on supporting transformational projects and will work directly with teams from the Main Street Initiative, the North Dakota Trade Office, the Economic Development and Finance Division and will lead statewide supply chain and logistics modernization efforts,” according to a news release.

Leiman is a New Jersey native and was in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2004, where his roles included intelligence analyst. He later helped the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs move to a “digital operating environment” that reduced the agency’s claims backlog and saved taxpayer funds, according to a news release.

Leiman took the Ada city administrator job in early 2015, and some locals said he brought a fresh perspective to the Norman County town.

“James is bringing his extensive background and expertise in community development and entrepreneurship to the Department of Commerce,” Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler said in a statement.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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