MARCH 17, 2022 

SDDP Congratulates Nikki Gronli on Biden Administration Appointment

South Dakota Democratic Party Vice Chair Nikki Gronli has been appointed by the Biden Administration as South Dakota’s State Director of Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). She is resigning from her role with the Party to accept this new position. Jessica Meyers will serve as interim Vice Chair until an election in April.

“I am passionate about access to affordable broadband and the economic vitality of rural communities. But this is just one of the many ways the U.S. Department of Agriculture impacts America. I look forward to working with rural and tribal communities on water access, the elimination of food deserts, and business development. This department is key to keeping our rural areas strong, vibrant, and growing. I’m excited to take on this challenge,” said Nikki Gronli. 

“In Nikki Gronli, the South Dakota Democratic Party has had the best Vice Chair in the country. Her commitment and dedication are unmatched, and she has played an essential role in moving our Party forward. While we are sad to lose Nikki as our Vice Chair, her appointment as Rural Development Director is fantastic news for South Dakota. I am pleased to congratulate Nikki on her new role and I know she will accomplish so much for the people of South Dakota,” said SDDP Chair Randy Seiler.

In her role as State Director, Gronli will use her leadership and marketing experience to oversee South Dakota’s USDA Rural Development programs. Her goals include creating more awareness of the programs available and championing these programs to effectively revitalize and strengthen rural South Dakota. Gronli will communicate South Dakota’s unique challenges and needs to Secretary Tom Vilsack and the Biden-Harris administration. 

Nikki Gronli grew up in Aurora, SD. 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.

Nikki will be leaving her role as Marketing Specialist at SDN Communications where she oversaw the brand, traditional marketing, and educational events. 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. In her current role, Nikki has been an advocate for broadband expansion in South Dakota. Nikki understands extending critical broadband infrastructure to under-served communities and tribal areas is key to diversifying South Dakota’s economy. The pandemic also shined a light on the glaring holes in service and what broadband access means to our schools and children. 

Nikki is 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. 

Nikki and her husband Brian live in the rural Dell Rapids area where they raised their four now-grown children. They are proud grandparents of two. In their downtime, they enjoy travel, hiking, and fishing (even in the winter).



USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. 


The South Dakota Democratic Party is working for a South Dakota where there is opportunity and progress for all people – a place where all South Dakotans are treated with dignity and have a chance to go as far as their talents and ambitions will take them. To make this vision a reality, we are working to empower, organize, and elect Democrats at every level in every corner of our state.