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Noem Selects DSU Dean to Lead Department of Education

For Immediate Release

December 20, 2018

Contact: Kristin Wileman


Noem Selects DSU Dean to Lead Department of Education


PIERRE, S.D. – Governor-elect Kristi Noem, a long-time advocate for education, today announced that Dr. Ben Jones will join her administration as Interim Secretary of Education.


“There’s no better place to grow up than South Dakota, but we must do better to equip the next generation with the tools they need to thrive,” said Noem. “Ben Jones is an experienced voice and trusted leader in South Dakota education. Together, we’ll look for innovative ways to strengthen our systems, work to improve K-12 outcomes, and make our education programs more applicable to the modern workforce.”


“I appreciate Governor-elect Noem’s confidence in me as we work to improve education for South Dakota families,” said Ben Jones. “I’m a product of public education and know from my experience growing up in De Smet that vibrant schools send out well-prepared kids. I plan on working with Governor-elect Noem to bring a new perspective to the Department of Education, developing a culture of performance, supporting teachers in their vital work for our kids, and improving civic knowledge.”


Jones holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Kansas. Now serving as the Dean of Dakota State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, he oversees more than 50 full-time and adjunct faculty members. In this role, he has revitalized numerous programs to better equip students for modernized careers, launched innovative programming, and improved course content through interdepartmental collaboration.


Jones, a De Smet native, now lives in Sioux Falls with his wife and three children.