Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben announced Thursday she will leave her post effective April 22 to pursue other opportunities. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Shawntera Hardy her successor.

Sieben was appointed DEED Commissioner in October 2012 and previously served as the executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office.

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to serve in this role. Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. (Tina) Smith’s vision for Minnesota is – and always has been – to build a stronger Minnesota. I am beyond grateful for the trust they put in me to be a part of that effort, and to help lead us to where we are today,” Clark Sieben said in a written statement. “I know that DEED will continue that progress under Commissioner’s Hardy’s leadership. As we head into the fourth quarter of the Dayton administration, the time has come for me to begin a new challenge and I look forward to this next journey.” 

“Commissioner Clark Sieben’s devoted service to the people and businesses of Minnesota has improved our state's economy. During her tenure, Minnesota was named ‘America’s Top State for Business’ by CNBC, and earned numerous accolades for job creation. I thank her for her excellent work, and wish her the best as she begins the next chapter of her career,” Daytonsaid.

“Shawntera Hardy will be an outstanding Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development,” he said. “As a member of my senior leadership team, she has consistently demonstrated her exceptional ability to manage complex organizations and engage a wide variety of viewpoints in solving difficult problems. Ms. Hardy shares my commitment to eliminating economic disparities in our state, and building an economy that works for all Minnesotans, everywhere in Minnesota. I will strongly support her efforts to continue the progress that Commissioner Clark Sieben began.”

Hardy was appointed to serve as deputy chief of staff in the office of the governor in March 2015. Dayton said she has coordinated the administration’s response to crises impacting the state, including floods, fires, and public health emergencies.

“Minnesota has a strong and growing economy, made possible by the many successful businesses and hard-working people who call Minnesota home,” Hardy said. “Despite our nation-leading progress in business development and job creation, we have much more work to do to ensure all Minnesotans share in our state’s economic prosperity.”

Prior to her service in the office of the Governor and Lt. Governor, Hardy worked in senior leadership positions at several Minnesota companies and nonprofits, and she owns and operates two small businesses.

• Hardy worked as a policy director at Fresh Energy, where she worked on environmental and transportation policy, and as manager of government relations for HealthPartners’ hospital division.

•  Before joining HealthPartners, Hardy served as a city planner for the city of Saint Paul and as a legislative assistant in the Ohio House of Representatives. Additionally, she is a co-founder and the director of strategic growth for Civic Eagle – a civic technology and data analytics company committed to developing tools that bridge civic engagement and social networking. She is also the founder of PolicyGrounds Consulting, LLC – a policy and planning strategy firm.