Metro Flood Diversion Authority Staff

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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
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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
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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