See the former jobs of the governor of North Dakota

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September 26, 2022

See the former jobs of the governor of North Dakota

In 2018, 36 out of the nation's 50 states held elections for governor. A record-shattering 16 women were major party nominees the position, nine of whom were successful, making the current number of female governors tied with the all-time high number set in 2004. The LGBTQ+ community also made historic strides, as Colorado's Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the United States, and Oregon's Kate Brown, who is bisexual, was reelected in her state.

Fast forward to the 2022 elections, and 36 states will once again elect—or reelect— their governors. But who are these powerful politicians, and what were they doing before they took their states' reigns?

Stacker analyzed the former roles every current governor had before taking office and found varying resumes, from positions as cabinet secretaries to the CEO of an ice cream company. Read on to find out where your state's governor developed and honed the leadership skills that propelled them to public office or check out the national story here.

Doug Burgum (R-North Dakota)

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum launched Great Plains Software in 1983 in his home state, and as CEO of the company, led it through its initial public offering and eventual acquisition by Microsoft. He stayed at Microsoft as senior vice president until 2007. Burgum also founded a real estate development firm called Kilbourne Group, as well as Arthur Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in software companies. His gubernatorial run was his first foray into public office.

While all 50 governors bring with them experiences from different walks of life, some share several commonalities. A total of four current governors have served in the military, and 15 were at one point the lieutenant governor of their states. Eleven governors previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives, while just one was a former U.S. senator.

Keep reading below to see the former jobs of governors of other states in your region.


Upon graduating from Chadron State College in 1989, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz taught high schoolers in China, an opportunity provided by Harvard University. After returning home, Walz served in the Army National Guard. In 1996, he accepted a position teaching social studies in Mankato, where he also coached football. Walz was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, representing Minnesota's first congressional district.


The founder of five different startups, Greg Gianforte is probably best known for RightNow Technologies, which grew into the largest commercial employer for the town of Bozeman, Montana. He also gained national infamy during his 2017 congressional campaign, when he attacked a Guardian journalist on the campaign trail. He still won that race, and reelection the following year.

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