Douglas James Burgum is an American entrepreneur and politician serving as the 33rd governor of North Dakota since 2016. He is a member of the Republican Party and an expected presidential candidate.
Burgum was born and raised in the small town of Arthur, North Dakota. He mortgaged his inherited farmland after graduating from college in 1983 to invest in a small technology startup, Great Plains Software. Becoming the company's president in 1984, he grew Great Plains into a successful large software company. Burgum sold the company to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001. While working at Microsoft, he managed Microsoft Business Solutions. He has served as board chairman for Atlassian and SuccessFactors. Burgum is the founder of Kilbourne Group, a Fargo-based real-estate development firm, and also is the co-founder of Arthur Ventures, a software venture capital group.
A lifelong resident of North Dakota, Burgum entered the Republican primary in the 2016 North Dakota gubernatorial election with no political experience. He upset longtime Attorney General and Republican-endorsed candidate Wayne Stenehjem in the primary election, and defeated Democratic nominee Marvin Nelson by a landslide in the general election. He was reelected by a wide margin in 2020.