Ken Peterson was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry by Governor Mark Dayton in December 2010. Previously, he served in the same position from 1988 to 1990. With Peterson’s reappointment, Governor Dayton noted the commissioner “brings exceptional experience and expertise back to the agency he has led before.”
The agency employs approximately 430 workers throughout the state and oversees the state’s apprenticeship, construction codes and licensing, occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, and workers’ compensation programs. The Department’s newest responsibility is overseeing combative sports including boxing and mixed martial arts.
Peterson has served in other leadership roles at the state and city levels.
From 1999 to 2007, he worked at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as deputy attorney general for government operations, supervising attorneys representing state agencies. Peterson also served as deputy commissioner for utility regulation of the state Department of Public Service, as director of St. Paul’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, and as chief of staff in the St. Paul mayor’s office.
In addition to public service, Peterson has worked in private law practice, as associate professor of public administration at Metropolitan State University, and executive director of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. He started his legal career on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.
Peterson grew up in Osakis, Minn., and is a graduate of Hamline University (B.A.); George Washington University (J.D.); and Harvard University (MPA). He lives in St. Paul with his wife, Connie, and has two adult children, Kelsey and Nick.
Ken Peterson will be speaking in the Nonprofit and Government class with Marcia Avner and Jon Pratt on Sept 29, 2012.