FARGO, ND, Monday, November 9, 2020 – Bob Otterson, a longtime public affairs professional, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a leading statewide social ministry organization serving more than 20,000 North Dakotans each year.
The Board of Directors announced the appointment, effective December 1. Eric Monson, who has been acting Interim Chief Executive Officer since January 15, will stay with the organization through December 31 to assist in the transition.
“Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota has been blessed with two leaders during 2020,” said Murray Sagsveen, LSSND Board Chair. “Eric Monson has served as the interim chief executive officer since January. On October 30, Bob Otterson accepted an offer to serve as our next chief executive officer.”
Otterson, a native of Marshall, Minnesota, has more than 23 years of senior management experience, including more than a decade of strategic development and plan execution at state-wide nonprofit organizations. He was the chief of staff for more than eight years at South Dakota State University and served in chief advancement officer and chief marketing officer positions in public higher education. Most recently, Otterson served the North Dakota State University Foundation as Director of Development in the College of Business.
“I am enthused to join Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota and a group of professionals who provide crucial, sometimes life-changing, services and care for friends and neighbors across the state,” said Otterson. “This has been the most turbulent year of my adult life — an unchecked pandemic, racial unrest, widening socioeconomic disparities, further political polarization, volatile markets and a chaotic election. Now, more than ever, the mission of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota — healing, help and hope, resonates emphatically, and the vision of strengthen lives and strengthening communities shines brightly amid the gray uncertainties in late 2020.”
Otterson has strong roots in community engagement, fund development, and higher education. He has served as the President of two ELCA congregations: St. Stephen in Marshall, Minnesota, and Ascension in Brookings, South Dakota. He has also served on boards for the Campus Religious Center and Lutheran Campus Ministry, both in Marshall, Minnesota.
In 2020, Otterson was recognized for his professional efforts and achievements with the Distinguished Service Award in District VI from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, an international association for professionals in educational fundraising, marketing and communications, and alumni engagement.
“Lutheran Social Services is fortunate to have Otterson lead the organization into the next era of social ministry,” said Eric Monson, Interim CEO. “His unique skill sets make him the right individual to cultivate relationships throughout the state, and to be a steward of an organization that has brought hope to communities throughout North Dakota for over a century.”
Otterson received his BA in Communications from Augustana University and an MS in Mass Communications and Journalism from South Dakota State University. He completed doctoral classes in Education at the University of South Dakota.
About Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota
LSSND is a statewide social ministry that provides a lifespan of care to individuals, families, and communities. LSSND puts faith into action by helping people live and be well in their homes and community. LSSND provides assistance to all, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic status. In 2019, LSSND served more than 20,000 people and celebrated 100 years of service to North Dakotans. Guided by God’s love and grace, LSSND offers healing, help, and hope.