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Joseph A. Heringer was appointed by the Board of University and School Lands to begin serving the citizens of North Dakota as Land Commissioner effective March 14, 2022. Commissioner Heringer is a Bismarck native and life-long North Dakota resident. He is a licensed attorney with over 20 years combined investment and trusts/estates management experience. 

As Commissioner, Mr. Heringer leads the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands, the department responsible for the management and stewardship of educational trusts, minerals acres, and other assets that are purposed for the benefit of public schools and other institutions in North Dakota. This includes prudently managing the department’s $7 billion in trust funds and sustainably managing the department’s more than 2.5 million mineral acres and 700,000 surface acres. 



Commissioner Heringer also serves as the statutorily appointed Administrator of North Dakota’s Unclaimed Property Program, which has been housed in the Department of Trust Lands since inception in 1975. 

Commissioner Heringer is responsible for providing overall direction and oversight to all divisions within the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands, crafting policies to help further secure and diversify the department’s portfolio, increasing the department’s assets, and continually affirming the department’s commitment to conservationism. Furthermore, Commissioner Heringer serves as the chief advocate and spokesperson for the department, investing significantly in public relations and legislative communications, and is a member of the North Dakota State Investment Board.

Commissioner Heringer earned his bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and his law degree from the University of North Dakota.