Dr. Paul Mariani was appointed as the new Interim State Health Officer during Gov. Doug Burgum’s Thursday press briefing.

According to a press release, Dr. Mariani has served as associate chief of staff for education at the Fargo VA Health Care System since 2015, which is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mariani earned his medical degree in Poland and completed his residency at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he served as chief resident. He also completed a fellowship in infectious disease at the University of Miami.

The press release also says prior to his current role at the Fargo VA, Mariani served as medical director of the North Dakota Aids Education & Training Center for three years and as an infectious disease physician at Sanford Health in Fargo for four years. He is a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota Air National Guard’s Medical Corps.

Department of Health Chief of Staff Dirk Wilke will serve as interim state health officer until Mariani joins the Health Department on Sept. 14.