Governor Steve Bullock Thursday announced the appointment of Tara Rice as the new Director of the Montana Department of Commerce.
“Tara’s experience – from growing up on a ranch outside of Choteau to her work implementing economic development policies with an eye toward rural communities – will continue the Department’s work fostering opportunities all across Montana,” said Governor Bullock. “I look forward to what Tara’s passion for public service and strategic approach to strengthening Montana’s economy will bring to the administration.”
“I am honored for this opportunity to work hard for economic development in all corners of Montana alongside the capable and talented team at the Department of Commerce,” said Tara Rice. “I look forward to working with partners around the state to spur opportunity for small business development and to help sustain our Montana livelihoods.”
Rice comes to this position from a public and private sector background in economic development. Starting in 2012, Rice served in the Rural Development mission area of the US Department of Agriculture, helping to manage USDA’s investments in rural infrastructure, housing and business development. Rice later led the work of the White House Rural Council, coordinating efforts for rural investment across federal agencies and with state and local partners. Most recently Rice was in private legal practice as a transactional attorney, working with teams of bankers, developers and engineers to build infrastructure and energy projects.
Rice grew up on a ranch north of Choteau, Montana. She is a graduate of Choteau High School, Seattle University, and Yale Law School.