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Burgum names new state labor commissioner

Erica Thunder's appointment as North Dakota labor commissioner is effective June 3, 2019. Photo provided by Gov. Doug Burgum's office.

BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appointed a state-tribal liaison as the state's new labor commissioner Thursday, May 9.

Erica Thunder has worked as the judicial systems administrator for the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission since late 2016. Her appointment as labor commissioner is effective June 3, according to a news release.

Thunder will take over for Michelle Kommer, who was appointed to lead the state Department of Commerce late last year.

“Erica’s ability to approach issues with impartiality and compassion and her commitment to fairness and justice for all North Dakotans will serve our citizens well,” Burgum said in a statement.

Thunder received a bachelor's degree in political science in 2011 from the University of North Dakota, where she also earned a law degree and Indian law certificate in 2014. She is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

Lawmakers budgeted 14 full-time positions and nearly $2.9 million for the Department of Labor and Human Rights in the 2019-21 biennium. The agency enforces labor and human rights laws.

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