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Aaron Birst named next executive director for the North Dakota Association of Counties

The appointment is effective in May.

Aaron Birst
Aaron Birst Contributed / North Dakota Association of Counties

The North Dakota Association of Counties Board of Directors (NDACo) has selected Aaron Birst to serve as the next NDACo executive director. Birst will begin the role in May.

Birst has been with NDACo since 2006 and currently serves as the assistant executive director of policy and legal counsel. He previously served in state’s attorney’s offices in Cass County, Stutsman County and Grand Forks County. He received his Bachelor of Science in history education from North Dakota State University in 1998 and graduated with distinction in 2001 from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

The NDACo Board of Directors formed a Succession Planning Committee in response to the pending retirement of current Executive Director Terry Traynor.

"Aaron is well known to our members for his broad expertise in the laws and issues important to counties, and especially as the guy who brings positive energy into everything he does," Traynor said. "He’s going to make an excellent director.”

Traynor will continue to serve as executive director through April. Traynor has been employed with NDACo since 1986.


“I want to thank all the committee members for all their hard work over the past year," said Carrie Krause, NDACo Board president. "It was an important challenge to be sure we made the right choice to serve this organization and our members. I know Aaron will be the right fit and a great leader.”

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead this fine organization,” Birst said. "I have enormous shoes to fill, but with our great staff and board, I know I have the support to continue serving counties well in all we do.”

NDACo is a nonprofit organization that strives to provide leadership to assure fair, effective, efficient government through education, training, communication and a strong legislative effort for the good of North Dakota’s 53 counties. For general information, visit .

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