Another chief of staff leaves Noem’s administration

Associated Press/News StaffApril 7, 2021News
Governor Noem's Chief of Staff Tony Venhuizen will join the South Dakota Board of Regents.

PIERRE, SD (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced Tuesday that her top aide will change for the third time during her tenure as governor.

Current chief of staff Tony Venhuizen will  join the South Dakota Board of Regents later this month, Noem’s office said.  Venhuizen, a native of Armour, will succeed Kevin Schieffer of Sioux Falls, whose time on the board ended in March. He will leave his role as Noem’s chief of staff in late April, when his appointment to the Regents becomes effective. The Board of Regents governs the state’s six public universities, plus the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the South Dakota School for the Deaf.

Noem has seen consistent turnover of her top staff since she became governor in 2019. Herb Jones, who served as Noem’s chief of staff from her inauguration on January 5, 2019, through October 1, 2019 resigned after 10 months. Joshua Shields who served as Noem’s chief of staff from October 1, 2019 to January 1, 2020, resigned after less than three months.

Tony Venhuizen was Noem’s third chief of staff, named in March 2020.  Venhuizen said in a statement that he had intended his time in the governor’s office to be short. However, he became Noem’s longest-serving chief of staff, spending 13 months in the role. “Tony has been an incredible asset to our team, and he will be missed,” Noem said.

A chief of staff is the lead staff member of an executive administration and is responsible for implementing the governor’s agenda. The role is both a managerial and advisory position, although specific duties vary by each administration. Typically, the gubernatorial chief of staff manages the Governor’s schedule, assists in forming and implementing a policy agenda, and oversees the governor’s staff.

Venhuizen was previously a member of the Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s public universities. He served as its student member from 2003 until 2008. He also worked on education policy while on staff in former Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s office.