Douglas James Burgum is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and politician who serves as the 33rd Governor of North Dakota since 2016.
He was born and raised in the town of Arthur, North Dakota, and is a member of the Republican Party.
He founded a successful software company called Great Plains Software and sold it to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001.
In addition to this, Burgum also founded Kilbourne Group, a real-estate development firm in Fargo, and is the co-founder of Arthur Ventures, a software venture capital group.
Burgum was born on August 1, 1956, in Arthur, North Dakota. He is the son of Katherine and Joseph Boyd Burgum. His grandfather had founded a grain elevator in 1906 in Arthur.
Burgum attended North Dakota State University (NDSU) and earned his undergraduate degree in 1978. During his senior year at NDSU, he applied to the Stanford Graduate School of Business and started a chimney-sweeping business.
He was later accepted to study business at Stanford, where he befriended Steve Ballmer, who would later become the CEO of Microsoft. He received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1980.
Burgum moved to Chicago to become a consultant with McKinsey & Company after his graduation from Stanford GSB. He mortgaged $250,000 of farmland to provide the seed capital for accounting software company Great Plains Software in Fargo, North Dakota.
He joined the company in 1983 and became its president in 1984 after leading a small investment group composed of family members in buying out the rest of the company.
Burgum grew the company to about 250 employees by 1989 and led the company to about $300 million in annual sales and a 1997 IPO, after using the Internet to help it expand beyond North Dakota.
In 2001 he sold Great Plains Software to Microsoft for $1.1 billion.
After the sale, Burgum was named Senior Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions Group. He stayed with Microsoft until 2007 and was responsible for making enterprise apps a priority for Microsoft during this tenure.
Burgum has served on the advisory board for Stanford Graduate School of Business and was on the board of SuccessFactors during the 2000s, becoming its chairman from 2007 till the 2011 sale of the company to SAP.
In 2012 he became the first chairman of the board for Atlassian. Burgum has also served as board chairman for Atlassian and SuccessFactors.
Burgum entered the Republican primary in the 2016 North Dakota gubernatorial election with no political experience.
He defeated longtime Attorney General and Republican-endorsed candidate Wayne Stenehjem in the primary election and defeated Democratic nominee Marvin Nelson by a landslide in the general election.
He was re-elected by a wide margin in 2020. In April 2023, Burgum signed a near-total abortion ban in North Dakota.
Gov. Doug Burgum Children
Burgum Children was married twice, as at now, he is documented to have 3 children.
His first marriage to Karen Stoker in 1991, resulted in three children but ended in divorce in 2003. Burgum then went on to marry Kathryn Helgaas in 2016.