Governor Kristi Noem is naming former-Governor Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff as her new chief of staff.
Tony Venhuizen served during Daugaard’s second term in office. He is Noem’s third chief of staff since taking office just over one year and one month ago.
Governor Noem says Venhuizen brings a unique set of skills to her team, given his tenure in the executive branch and wealth of historical knowledge.
Venhuizen has been working with Noem as an education policy advisor since she took office and as a senior advisor since January. Add that to his four years as chief of staff under Daugaard. He was also appointed by Governor Mike Rounds to the South Dakota Board of Regents, where he served for five years.
Venhuizen says public service is something he feels called to do.
“It was an honor that Governor Noem asked me to do this,” Venhuizen says. “It’s obviously a job I have some experience in. The chief of staff is really the person who—day to day—is working with the staff and cabinet, making sure the governor’s agenda is being carried out the way she wants and helping her deal with events. So, I’m looking forward to that. I like Governor Noem, she has a great team. It’ll be fun to get going.”
Vehuizen is replacing Joshua Shields as chief-of-staff, who served in that role for almost three months.
Shields was let go in the December 23rd staff shakeup last year. Shields’ predecessor was Herb Jones, who served in Noem’s campaign for governor and participated in the transition team. Jones held the job for 10 months.
Venhuizen is leaving his private law practice to rejoin state government.