State Director for South Dakota
Nikki Gronli was appointed by President Joe Biden on March 28, 2022. In this role, she oversees the South Dakota Rural Development team. Rural Development South Dakota provides loans and grants to provide infrastructure improvements; business development; affordable housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty areas.
Gronli grew up in Aurora, South Dakota. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and began her career in advertising and marketing in Minneapolis. She returned to South Dakota in 2001 and continued to work on some of the best-known brands in the region, including South Dakota Tourism. In past roles, Gronli worked for The Greater Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and most recently SDN Communications as Marketing Specialist. This professional experience helped her achieve board positions with Dakota State University’s Cybersecurity Industry Advisory Board and formerly, President of the Department of Defense STARBASE program. Gronli has been an advocate for broadband expansion in South Dakota. Gronli understands extending critical broadband infrastructure to under-served communities and tribal areas is key to diversifying South Dakota’s economy.
Gronli has been active in her community through numerous board and committee positions such as Minnehaha County Housing Redevelopment Committee, Siouxland Heritage Museum Board and LEAD South Dakota. She has completed the Mini MBA Program through the University of St. Thomas, Leadership South Dakota and Leadership Sioux Falls programs. Gronli and her husband, Brian, live in the rural Dell Rapids area, where they raised their four now-grown children. They are proud grandparents of three.