Mayor's Biography

Paul TenHaken was elected the 32nd Mayor of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in May 2018. Since taking office, Mayor TenHaken has led with a focus on public entrepreneurship, innovation, employee culture and fiscal responsibility. As a growing economic, cultural and population center in the region, Mayor TenHaken has taken strategic steps to ensure South Dakota’s largest city continues its success by investing in critical infrastructure projects, fostering accessible housing opportunities across all income levels, and making sure Sioux Falls has a strong foundation to be the best community to live, work, raise a family and retire.

In 2019, Sioux Falls became the first city in South Dakota to receive AARP’s coveted “Age-Friendly Community” designation. In January 2020, Mayor TenHaken launched the Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative with a goal of recruiting 5,200 new mentors in the community so that every child and adult in need of a positive influence in their life is provided that opportunity. Sioux Falls’ appeal as an urban center has also grown under Mayor TenHaken’s leadership with the completion of the State Theater in downtown, increased funding for the arts, the launching of one of the nation’s first 5G networks, and deploying innovative approaches to improving the service and reach of the city’s transit system.

Mayor TenHaken’s commitment to public safety and health has also provided traction to key endeavors for the region. The community’s first Triage Center is set to open in 2020 for those in the midst of mental health and drug-related crises as an alternative to jail and hospitals. Additional resources to Police in staff, training and resources has also led to record drug seizures since taking office. He also led the effort to secure funding and public support for a new Public Safety Training Center and Metro 911 Dispatch facility.

Early in his tenure, Mayor TenHaken was selected to participate in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative with a focus on innovation—a partnership that has offered training opportunities and access to a global network of municipal leaders. In 2020, Mayor TenHaken was appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee.

Mayor TenHaken leads with a people-first approach. His focus as a mayor is on engaging people across Sioux Falls and the region to build and grow the community. Mayor TenHaken takes an innovative outlook in working to make local government more effective and in growing employee culture. In 2020 he created the first Chief Culture Officer position to engage the City’s workforce and to enhance workplace culture. 

Before taking office, Mayor TenHaken established a reputation in the Midwest as a leader in the marketing technology sector. In 2008, he founded Click Rain, a marketing technology agency in Sioux Falls that is recognized as a leader in the industry for innovative product offerings and a unique workplace culture.

Mayor TenHaken has won numerous national business and entrepreneurial awards over the years, but his proudest accomplishment is his family—wife, Jill, and their three young kids. Mayor TenHaken is also the co-founder of the Dispatch Project—a non-profit that organizes overseas mission opportunities for business leaders. In his free time, Mayor TenHaken is an avid athlete who enjoys competing in triathlons and obstacle course races as well as volunteering with his church and community.