Byron Leslie Dorgan (born May 14, 1942) is a former United States Senator from North Dakota and is now a senior policy advisor for a Washington, DC law firm. He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, the North Dakota affiliate of the Democratic Party. In the Senate, he was Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs. Dorgan announced on January 5, 2010 that he would not seek re-election in the 2010 North Dakota senate election, and he was succeeded by North Dakota Governor John Hoeven. Dorgan is now co-chair of Government Relations Practice for the Washington, DC law firm Arent Fox. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he focuses on issues related to energy policy.
Dorgan was born in Dickinson, North Dakota, the son of Dorothy (née Bach) and Emmett Patrick Dorgan, and was raised in Regent, North Dakota. He graduated from Regent High School and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Dakota in 1964 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1966. Dorgan worked in management for a Denver aerospace firm, eventually earning a position training others for high ranking company positions.
Dorgan's public service career began at age 26, when he was appointed North Dakota State Tax Commissioner. He was the youngest constitutional officer in North Dakota's history. He was re-elected to that office by large margins in 1972 and 1976, and was chosen one of "Ten Outstanding State Officials" in the United States by the Washington Monthly magazine. Dorgan served as tax commissioner of North Dakota from 1969 until 1980. His future Senate colleague Kent Conrad worked in the same office before succeeding Dorgan at this post. Dorgan ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Congress in 1974. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in his second bid in 1980. He was a member from 1981 until 1992, being re-elected five times.