Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed former Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, to serve as the new commissioner of labor and industry starting on July 17, according to a release from the governor’s office.
Sviggum will replace Scott Brenner, who is leaving the post to take a job with SFM Companies.
Sviggum, 55, served as speaker from 1999 to 2007, when the Republican party lost control of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
“Steve is known for his ability to work with and listen to people on all sides of an issue. His philosophy has always revolved around balance and I know he’ll bring that to DLI,” said Pawlenty in a statement.
Sviggum has served in the state legislature since he was elected to the House in 1978. In addition, he is a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Sviggum also continues to operate the farm he and his wife own in Kenyon.
“I’m looking forward to this next challenge in my public service career,” Sviggum said in a statement. “Enhancing jobs and furthering the health, safety and protection of Minnesota’s workers and employers is an important task and I’ll tackle it with energy and fairness.”