The North Dakota Board of Medicine has hired Bonnie Storbakken as executive secretary.
Storbakken, a native of East Grand Forks, Minn., currently serves as staff attorney for Gov. Jack Dalrymple. From 2013 to 2014, she held a position in the governor's cabinet as commissioner of the Department of Labor and Human Rights.
The board hired Storbakken to replace Duane Houdek, who is retiring April 30.
Houdek, who has served as executive secretary since 2006, said he plans to retire and spend time with his two adult children in Bismarck and his new 10-month-old identical twin grandsons.
“It’s always a bittersweet thing," he said. "This has been a great job, and I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s time to turn the page."
The North Dakota Board of Medicine has 13 board members appointed by the governor to four-year terms. The board regulates the practice of medicine, licensing and providing disciplinary oversight of about 3,500 physicians, physicians assistants, genetic counselors and fluoroscopy technicians who are licensed in the state.
Houdek, who previously served as Gov. John Hoeven's staff attorney, said he believes Storbakken will do a "good job."
“I feel great about the board, and Bonnie taking over it," he said.
Storbakken will start working part time for the board in February. She'll work with Houdek during part of the upcoming legislative session and the board's first scheduled meeting in March.
“I’m glad he’s ready to bring me on in the transition," Storbakken said. "I think that’ll be great to work side-by-side with him and learn from him. He’s been in it for a long time."
Storbakken said her experience working for the governor and as labor commissioner should "transfer over pretty nicely." She has previously worked with Houdek, through the governor's office, on issues that have come up for the board.
“I’m very excited. I think it will be a nice shift," she said.