Friday, February 11, 2022 - 03:47pm

Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Capital Electric Cooperative Inc. board chairwoman Sheri Haugen-Hoffart of Bismarck to an open seat on the three-member North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC), effective immediately.

Haugen-Hoffart has served as a human resource officer in the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner since 2017. Her career has included previous roles as deputy state treasurer, director of education in the North Dakota Securities Department, coordinator for the University of North Dakota’s Division of Continuing Education in Bismarck and emergency service director for the Burleigh-Morton Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Haugen-Hoffart was elected to the board of directors for Capital Electric Cooperative in 2010 and has chaired the board since 2020. The Bismarck-based co-op serves over 18,000 member-owners and provides electrical services to more than 21,000 meters. Haugen-Hoffart also previously chaired the board of Central Power Electric Cooperative, a wholesale power supply and transmission cooperative whose six member co-ops include Capital Electric, and currently serves as the board’s secretary/treasurer.

“Sheri Haugen-Hoffart brings an extensive background in public service and more than a decade of experience overseeing utilities and looking out for the best interests of customers, making her well-suited to serve on the North Dakota Public Service Commission,” Burgum said.

A native of Rugby, Haugen-Hoffart earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1988 and a master’s degree in management from the University of Mary in Bismarck in 1996.

Haugen-Hoffart will fill the PSC seat vacated by former commissioner Brian Kroshus, who was re-elected to a six-year term on the PSC in 2020. Kroshus was appointed state tax commissioner in December 2021 and began serving in the role on Jan. 4. The November 2022 election will determine who serves the remaining four years of the six-year PSC term, which expires Dec. 31, 2026. Haugen-Hoffart will join current commissioners Julie Fedorchak and Randy Christmann on the PSC.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of North Dakota and look forward to working with commissioners Fedorchak and Christmann and the entire PSC team to carry out its important mission of protecting consumers and the public interest,” Haugen-Hoffart said.

The PSC is a constitutional agency with varying degrees of statutory authority over electric and gas utilities, telecommunications companies, energy plant and transmission siting, railroads, auctioneers, weight and measuring devices, pipeline safety, coal mine reclamation and abandoned mines, and damage prevention. The agency is authorized for 43 full-time employees and has a budget of $19.9 million for the 2021-2023 biennium. The PSC’s three commissioners are elected on a statewide basis to staggered six-year terms.