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Kooistra named COO & General Counsel of DSU-ARC

February 15, 2023

Sioux Falls City Attorney Stacy Kooistra has accepted a new position as the Chief Operations Officer and General Counsel for the Dakota State University-Applied Research Corporation (DSU-ARC), to help stimulate a vibrant cyber-research industry that supports national security, offers workforce and economic development opportunities, and establishes South Dakota as a cyber state.

DSU-ARC was recently established as a non-profit corporation, separate from the University. Its mission is to develop, operate, and expand the DSU Applied Research Lab (DSU-ARL). The Lab is currently located on the Dakota State campus in Madison, and will expand to Sioux Falls in a building that is currently in the design stage.  The Corporation will be responsible for operating the Lab, with DSU transferring lab personnel to the Corporation later this year.

When it opens in 2025, the 100,000-square-foot Sioux Falls facility will be able to house approximately 400 researchers in its location near the Sanford Sports Complex. Together, the facilities in Madison and Sioux Falls will create a cyber-research hub that will support important national security research with government, military, business, and industry partners. This hub promises to be a strong, emerging industry for the state of South Dakota.

“The City of Sioux Falls has seen a growing and increasingly fruitful partnership with DSU over the years and to be able to have Stacy continue his public service in this new capacity is a win for all involved,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and City Council Chair Curt Soehl in a joint statement.

Kooistra’s background includes experience with the City of Sioux Falls and the region, training and education in law and cyber law, a military background as Staff Judge Advocate for Headquarters, South Dakota Air National Guard and Joint Staff, South Dakota National Guard, and leadership in creating the strong public-private partnership that established The South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance in Sioux Falls. Together these experiences provide an ideal background for the COO position, and to help build the organizational and administrative infrastructure to support the research conducted at DSU-ARL.

“Colonel Kooistra is the perfect person for the job,” said José-Marie Griffiths, Interim CEO of DSU-ARC and DSU President. “With his experience and expertise, he will be able to create a strong foundation for DSU-ARC by bringing together entities to establish a thriving cyber-research facility. He will also help create a healthy and vibrant corporate culture that will attract researchers and partners alike.”  

Sara Venhuizen, Chair of the DSU-ARC Board of Directors, said, “The board is extremely happy to get someone of Stacy’s caliber to lead our operations while we prepare for this period of growth. We are excited for him to be at the helm of the ARC and help us bring high-paying cybersecurity jobs to the Sioux Falls area.”

Kooistra said “I am humbled at the opportunity to play a foundational role in this important undertaking. I have every confidence that, together, we will indeed see significant long-term impacts from this cyber-research initiative to benefit the City of Sioux Falls, the State of South Dakota, and our national interests.”

Kooistra will begin his duties this spring, and will be based in Sioux Falls.

In addition to Griffiths and Venhuizen, members of the DSU-ARC Board of Directors are Board of Regents General Counsel Nathan Lukkes, PREMIER Bankcard CEO Miles Beacom, and DSU Professor of Practice Andrea Thompson.

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