North Dakota Commerce Commissioner James Leiman is resigning from his post effective June 30.

Leiman was appointed by Governor Burgum in March 2021, and previously served as the Department of Commerce’s director of Economic Development and Finance for three years.

Leiman informed Burgum that he has accepted a chief development officer position with the Institue and Economics and Peace, a global think tank group.

“Over the last four years, James has made a tremendously positive impact on our state’s economy and business climate, bringing billions of dollars of projects into the pipeline for North Dakota,” Burgum said in a press release. “We are grateful that he will continue to help drive economic development in the Department of Commerce, and we wish him all the best as he transitions to his next endeavor.”

Leiman will continue his service to the Department of Commerce, working part-time and focusing on economic development projects.

Effective July 1, Shawl Kessel will serve as interim commissioner. Kessel previously served the position in 2020 and has worked with the Department of Commerce since 2018. His previous work experience includes working as a Dickinson city administrator, and past president of the West Dakota Energy Association, North Dakota League of Cities, and North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund.

The position of commerce commissioner will be posted immediately.