Douglas James Burgum, born on August 1, 1956, in Arthur, North Dakota, is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and politician.
He grew up in Arthur and attended North Dakota State University (NDSU) where he received his undergraduate degree in 1978.
He later went on to study business at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and received his MBA in 1980.
After graduation, Burgum worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in Chicago before founding a successful software company called Great Plains Software in Fargo, North Dakota.
He mortgaged $250,000 of farmland to provide the seed capital for the accounting software 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.
Burgum was also the founder of Kilbourne Group, a real-estate development firm in Fargo, and the co-founder of Arthur Ventures, a software venture capital group.
He 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.
In 2016, Burgum entered the Republican primary in the 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.
As the 33rd Governor of North Dakota since 2016, Burgum has focused on technology, innovation, and government reform. He has also been an advocate for economic growth and diversification in North Dakota.
His efforts have led to increased funding for technology and innovation, as well as initiatives to attract and retain young professionals in the state.
In April 2023, Burgum signed a near-total abortion ban in North Dakota, making it one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
The new law bans abortions at any stage of pregnancy, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. The controversial decision has been met with both support and opposition from citizens across the state and the country.
Despite the backlash, Burgum stands by his decision, stating that he believes it is the right thing to do. He has also emphasized his commitment to promoting a culture of life in North Dakota and protecting the rights of the unborn.
Doug Burgum Wife, Meet Kathryn Burgum
According to WIKIPEDIA,
Burgum married his first wife, Karen Stoker, in 1991. They have three children and divorced in 2003.
In 2016, Burgum married Kathryn Helgaas.
As first lady of North Dakota, Kathryn Burgum champions the Recovery Reinvented program on addiction and recovery.
Kathryn Burgum became First Lady on December 15, 2016, when her husband Governor Doug Burgum was sworn in as the 33rd Governor of North Dakota.