MADISON S.D. – Today, Nathan Lukkes officially begins his role as the Executive Director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR). Lukkes has been a part of the Board office since 2014, beginning as the System Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development and later becoming Chief of Staff and General Counsel. With his extensive experience and understanding of the organization, Lukkes will assuredly make lasting contributions to education in South Dakota.

“I am excited to lead the Board of Regents and continue our efforts for the public universities and special schools of South Dakota,” said Lukkes. “I am grateful to the board for granting me this opportunity and to Dr. Brian Maher for selecting me as his Chief of Staff and preparing me for this position over the past few years.”

Lukkes previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development before joining the Board of Regents. In addition, Lukkes’ dedication to South Dakota extends beyond civilian service. He committed ten years to the South Dakota Army National Guard, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2010-2011, where he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. When Lukkes concluded his military service in 2015, he received the Army Commendation Medal for his admirable service as a Judge Advocate Corps officer. Through his years of service in the military, he learned the importance of protecting our country’s freedoms and developed strong leadership skills that he still possesses today.

“Nathan not only has the credentials to lead this organization, but he also has the passion,” said BOR President Tim Rave. “He embodies South Dakota’s values and is committed to upholding them. The Board of Regents is lucky to have an experienced leader who values academic and personal liberties and works hard to ensure those freedoms are protected.”

Over the past few years, BOR built strong partnerships with state lawmakers, technical colleges, and the business community. Lukkes aims to preserve and strengthen these relationships to enhance our state’s public university system.

“Students want an excellent and affordable education that culminates in a successful career,” said Lukkes. “Measures taken by the legislature allowed for a two-year freeze in tuition, and their work with the private sector resulted in the creation of the Freedom Scholarship. The partnerships formed between public higher education, the legislative branch and the executive branch greatly benefit South Dakota’s economic growth, and I will continue to foster them.”

Born, raised, and educated in South Dakota, Lukkes grew up in Tyndall, SD. He attended South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota and later graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Law. As an active member of the community, Lukkes has taught Ju​nior Achievement for more than a decade, is an engaged member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Federation Missouri River Chapter Board and serves on the Dakota State University-Applied Research Corporation Board. He and his wife, Kate, and their two daughters live in Pierre, SD, where they enjoy hunting, boating, and tacos every Tuesday!

Lukkes succeeds Dr. Brian Maher as the Executive Director and CEO for the governing body of South Dakota’s public university system and special schools.