BOZEMAN, Mont. – Governor-elect Greg Gianforte today announced his appointment of Laurie Esau as the commissioner of the Department of Labor & Industry.
“As our small businesses and workers rebuild after a difficult year, Laurie will be a fierce and effective advocate for them at the Department of Labor & Industry,” Governor-elect Gianforte said. “I look forward to working with Laurie to get Montana open for business and Montanans back to work.”
Esau has three decades of service in federal and state government. She most recently served as chief of staff to Congressman Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for overseeing critical supports for workers and families, including unemployment insurance.
“I am honored to serve the citizens of Montana in this important cabinet position for Governor-elect Gianforte. I will work tirelessly to lead the department, work with employers, and implement policies to grow Montana’s economy and expand jobs in the state,” incoming commissioner of labor & industry Laurie Esau said.
Prior to joining the Congressman’s team, Esau served in a variety of capacities in Minnesota state government. She served as executive director for the Minnesota House Republican caucus, and also served as the Deputy Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Laurie Esau has received strong statements of support for her appointment:
STEVE DAINES, U.S. Senator for Montana
“Laurie is smart, effective, and respected in her field. She brings the leadership and tireless energy needed to help Governor Gianforte restart our economy, bring back jobs, and lead Montana’s comeback.”
ERIK PAULSEN, U.S. Congressman for Minnesota
“I know that Montana’s workers and businesses will have a trusted ally in Laurie as Commissioner of Labor and Industry. She is a strong leader known for her ability to work well with others and will help Governor-elect Gianforte strengthen Montana’s workforce.”
Esau is the fourth agency head appointed by Governor-elect Gianforte, who campaigned on installing new leadership and adopting a culture of customer service at state agencies.
Esau earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Thomas with a degree in Political Science and minors in Theology and Social Science.