Diversion Authority Board Hires Joel Paulsen as Executive Director

The Diversion Authority has officially hired Joel Paulsen as the first Executive Director for the FM Area Diversion Project.

Paulsen is scheduled to begin on September 3, 2019. He was offered the position in late July after a unanimous vote from the Board.

“I am very pleased to welcome Joel on board as the Project continues to move forward,” Board Chair and Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling said. “Now is the time for a full-time employee to focus on managing the many aspects of this complex process and guiding the Project through to completion.”

“We are lucky to have someone like Joel, who has the right mix of experience, engineering knowledge and empathy for those impacted by the Project, on board as our first Executive Director,” Board Vice Chair and Clay County Commissioner Kevin Campbell said. “It will be very helpful for the board, and the general public, to have a point person they can approach about this massive Project.”

Paulsen previously served on the Moorhead City Council and the Governors’ Task Force. He has been a civil engineer for more than a decade and is a licensed Professional Engineer in North Dakota and Minnesota. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University. Paulsen is also a FEMA Certified Floodplain Manager. Paulsen founded, and is currently the chapter president of Engineers Without Borders – Red River Valley Professionals. He lives in Moorhead with his family.

Paulsen’s salary for the Executive Director position was set at $195,000 per year.