SD School and Public Lands commissioner to leave job ahead of term limit

Ryan Brunner, who has served as the Secretary of School and Public Lands since 2015, is set to be term limited this year. He will become a senior policy advisor to Governor Noem just before his term expires.
Former South Dakota School and Public Lands Secretary Ryan Brunner.
Former South Dakota School and Public Lands Secretary Ryan Brunner.(SD School and Public Lands Office)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 9:02 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota School and Public Lands Secretary Ryan Brunner is leaving his post earlier to become a senior policy advisor to Governor Kristi Noem.

The Governor’s office announced Tuesday that Brunner, who is term-limited, would be leaving the office on January 31st, 2022.

Jarrod Johnson, who currently serves as Deputy Secretary, and led it from 2007 to 2013, will take over as interim secretary.

“Ryan has been a tireless servant to the people of South Dakota as Commissioner of School and Public Lands, and he has earned respect throughout the halls of the Capitol and across the state. We are excited to have him join our team in the Governor’s Office,” said Noem. “Jarrod will be a capable and qualified steward of the office until the next commissioner is elected by the people.”

Brunner has served in the office since 2015. Currently, former Republican State Sen. Jordan Youngberg and current State Sen. Brock Greenfield (R-Clark) are running for the position.

Following the announcement, Johnson told reporters that he had no intention of pursuing the office in election this year.

“I am grateful to Governor Noem for this opportunity to serve the people of South Dakota,” said Johnson. “My goal is to ensure a smooth transition to the next commissioner following the November election.”

Brunner’s appointment comes as a former policy advisor to Noem, John Coleman, left earlier this month. Noem has lost a number of senior level staffers over the course of the last several months.

“This is a great opportunity to serve the state of South Dakota,” said Brunner. “As I term limit this year and transition out of office, it is an honor to be asked by Governor Noem to join her administration.”

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