Metro Flood Diversion Authority Staff

Joel Paulsen, PE, CFM

Executive Director

Biography Highlights

  • Hired September 2019 as first Executive Director
  • 20+ years of experience in engineering, civil works, and traffic-related projects
  • Former Moorhead City Council member
  • Served on 2018 Minnesota Governor’s Task Force, working to find solutions for permanent flood protection in the Fargo-Moorhead region
  • Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from North Dakota State University
  • Numerous engineering and floodplain certifications

Kris Bakkegard, PE, CFM

Director of Engineeering

Biography Highlights

  •  25 years’ engineering experience, including design and project management for bridges, urban and rural roadways, and flood control projects
  • Former civil engineer, division leader, and engineering group manager with KLJ
  • Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from North Dakota State University
  • Military veteran and former combat engineer with the North Dakota Army National Guard
  • Former NDSU Bison Team Makers President

Jodi Smith

Director of Lands and Compliance

Biography Highlights

  • Hired November 2021 as first Director of Lands and Compliance
  • Previous Commissioner for the Board of University and School Lands
  • Previous member of the North Dakota State Investment Board
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology from Pepperdine University, California, and master’s degree in management from Regis University, Denver

Dawn Lindblom

Executive Assistant

Biography Highlights

  • Nearly 30 years of experience assisting C-level executives across a variety of industries
  • Secretary for Board of Authority and Finance Committee
  • Exceptional organization and office management skills
  • Skilled at managing conferences, travel, calendars, and meetings

Tom Fuchs

Senior Construction Manager

Biography Highlights

  • 17 years of experience in construction project management
  • Work experience on a major component of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System
  • Bachelor’s degree in construction engineering from North Dakota State University