BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum on Wednesday, April 22 appointed Andrea Travnicek as the director of the North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation.

Travnicek will return to North Dakota at the end of May after three years working in leadership positions with the U.S. Department of the Interior. Previously, she served as a natural resources policy advisor to then-Govs. John Hoeven and Jack Dalrymple.

The Minot native earned bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from North Dakota State University in Fargo.

"I’m grateful to Gov. Burgum for the opportunity to return to North Dakota to serve the citizens of the state I call home, and I look forward to managing our state’s incredible natural resources and recreational opportunities at our state parks," Travnicek said in a press release.

Travnicek will replace the department's West Regional Manager Ryan Gardner, who has served as interim director since January.

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The department receives a biennial budget of $43 million to manage 15 parks and recreation areas throughout the state. Travnicek will oversee about 60 full-time and 16 seasonal employees.