The North Dakota Women’s Network (NDWN) out of Bismarck, North Dakota announced Kristie Wolff as the new executive director.
The NDWN is a non-partisan, membership-based nonprofit organization in North Dakota. The program is currently in the process of creating numerous changes with Wolff being one of the first.
“We are very pleased to have Kristie Wolff join NDWN,” said Amy Jacobson, a member of the NDWN board of directors. Jacobson declared that along with Wolff’s leadership skills, she possesses experience in marketing, advocacy, grassroots education and coalition work.
Wolff said that her passion was truly spearheaded when she began working in the nonprofit sector, where she spent nearly half of her career. Recently, her work has included the management of a tobacco prevention program for a statewide nonprofit organization. Primary focuses of this program have included public education and policy regarding tobacco and nicotine among younger users. Similar work stretches as far back as 2015 for Wolff, as she aided in the passing of a North Dakota state law at this time that restricted minors from purchasing electronic cigarettes.
Wolff’s extensive leadership brought her to the position that she has been elected to. Since its inception 11 years ago, NDWN has advocated for economic equality, health care access, non-discrimination and against domestic violence.
The group has rapidly begun to increase public activism by offering events for interested individuals to participate in all across the state. Such events include programs such as Ready to Run, a bi-partisan program for women who want to run for office, seek higher office, work on a campaign, get appointed to office or learn more about the political system in general. Additional events include WE Rise, a women’s lobby day at the capital and Feminist First Fridays held in eight cities around the state.
“While we’ve made progress in many areas, there is more to be done,” Jacobson said. This is true when referencing the statistics surrounding women in politics. While women hold half of the population, they possess 18.4 percent of North Dakota legislative seats, 12 percent of county commission seats and three women who serve in elected statewide offices. Additionally, North Dakota ranks 41st in the percentage of women in state legislature.
Despite these statistics, NDWN remains hopeful. With changes such as the announcement of the new executive director and numerous projects underway, the NDWN has a mission to bring more women to North Dakota politics.