Kathryn Burgum became First Lady on December 15, 2016, when her husband Governor Doug Burgum was sworn in as the 33rd Governor of North Dakota. As First Lady, Kathryn’s priority is supporting and developing initiatives to eliminate the shame and stigma of the chronic disease of addiction in North Dakota’s communities.
In long-term recovery for 17 years, she shares her personal experience and encourages others to do the same to normalize the conversation around the disease of addiction. She is spreading the word that addiction is a chronic disease and not a character flaw. Kathryn plays an active role in supporting the Office of Recovery Reinvented as the chair of the Advisory Council.
Her advocacy work has enabled her to partner with advocates, experts in the field, and stakeholders nation-wide including the White House, Faces and Voices of Recovery, the Addiction Policy Forum, and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation where she serves on the board of trustees.