Governor Noem is shuffling some of top staff again and adding more ‘D.C.’ into the S.D. mix

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s chief executive is making more changes among her top staff, a spokesman told KELOLAND News. All are from outside South Dakota.

Mark Miller starts Monday as general counsel to Governor Kristi Noem. He comes from Pacific Legal Foundation, where he was a senior attorney. He replaces Tom Hart, who left earlier this year for private practice.

Jason Simmons, who joined Noem’s administration from the state Legislative Research Council after her 2018 election, has moved across the street to the state Department of Agriculture. There, he’s helping Secretary Hunter Roberts on the merger planned with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources next year.

Allen Cambon began Tuesday in Simmons’ previous role as the governor’s agriculture adviser. Cambon was legislative director for U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, and oversaw agriculture issues.

Another new face is Caroline Thorman. She is the governor’s new federal liaison, succeeding the governor’s daughter, Kennedy Noem. Thorman came from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and previously was on the staff of U.S. Representative Congressman French Hill, R-Arkansas.

The South Dakota Telecommunications Association meanwhile has hired Kara Semmler as general counsel. Rachel Oglesby starts in November in Semmler’s previous role as an adviser to the governor. Oglesby previously was industry communications manager for the U.S. Travel Association.

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