Doug Burgum, 1978, Governor, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
A native of Arthur, ND, Governor Burgum earned a Bachelor of University Studies degree from NDSU, then went on to achieve an MBA from Stanford University. After gaining national experience working as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, he returned to North Dakota in 1983 and joined Great Plains Software – then a startup company in the fledgling computer software industry. Doug led the company, as chairman and CEO, to a successful initial public offering in 1997. He then steered Great Plains through its strategic acquisition by Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion – at the time, the largest acquisition Microsoft had ever made. Doug remained at Microsoft as senior Vice President through 2007.
In 2006, Doug founded Kilbourne Group, a company committed to redevelopment trough restoration and construction that honors the past and inspires the future. His renovation of the landmark Northern School Supply building in 2000 led to the creation of NDSU's downtown campus, contributing to the revival of downtown Fargo.
In 2008, Doug co-founded Arthur Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in businesses with potential for strong growth. Doug served as chair of the board at the company, and has also served as a member of the advisory council for the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the boards of directors for SuccessFactors, Atlassian, Avalara, and numerous other companies. Doug has also guided theres to success catalyzing numerous spin-off and startup companies across North Dakota. In 2009, Doug was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state's highest honor.
In 2016, Doug announced his candidacy for North Dakota's Governor. Without formal political experience or establishment support, Doug decisively won both the primary and general elections. He is currently serving as the state's 33rd Governor, with a focus on diversifying the economy, creating 21st century jobs, and revitalizing main streets.
With deep gratitude for the communities and people that inspired his success, Doug contributes to philanthropic efforts, and has established the Doug Burgum Family Fund, focused on youth and education, honoring the commitment to these causes championed by his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Doug maintains his connection to his small town and agricultural roots through family farm partnerships and ranching in the Badlands of western North Dakota.