Drew Wrigley is a fourth generation North Dakotan with family roots in Walsh County and Burke County, where Wrigley Brothers Farm still thrives. Wrigley was born in Bismarck and grew up in Fargo. After graduating from Fargo South High School in 1984, Wrigley attended the University of North Dakota, graduating in 1988 with honors in economics and philosophy. He graduated from the American University, Washington College of Law, in 1991, followed by a year-long judicial clerkship in Delaware. Wrigley then worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, prosecuting every variety of crime in one of our nation’s most violent cities.
Wrigley and his wife Kathleen married in 1998 and moved home to North Dakota. In 2001, Wrigley was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate as North Dakota’s 17th United States Attorney. Wrigley led his office’s successful efforts to combat violent crime, large-scale narcotics trafficking, illegal immigration, financial fraud and ground-breaking investigations focused on Internet crimes against children. Under Wrigley’s leadership, the office’s Civil Division worked diligently to promote and protect legal and contractual interests of the United States, while battling to ensure the protection of civil rights and the promise of landmark legal protections such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even while serving as United States Attorney, Wrigley personally tried several noteworthy cases, including North Dakota’s first federal Internet child-luring case, and the successful death penalty prosecution of Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., who kidnapped, assaulted, and viciously murdered University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin. That was North Dakota’s first and only federal death penalty case, for which Wrigley served as lead trial and appellate counsel. From 2004 to 2009, Wrigley was appointed by three successive Attorney Generals of the United States to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a select group of United States Attorneys tasked with advising the Attorney General of the United States and other Department of Justice leaders.
After stepping down as United States Attorney in 2009, Wrigley served as vice-president of a national Medicare and Medicaid contractor based in Fargo. He subsequently served as North Dakota’s 37th Lieutenant Governor, from December 2010 through December 2016. Wrigley served as the President of the State Senate, chaired the State Investment Board and its oversight of then-$11 billion in pension and other state assets, chaired the state’s International Trade Office Board, chaired the Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force, and led the economic development efforts and oversight authority for North Dakota’s FAA-sanctioned unmanned flight systems testing facility. In 2016, Wrigley and Governor Jack Dalrymple chose to not seek re-election, and in early 2017 Wrigley once again returned to the private sector, serving in a senior advisory role for a regional healthcare, insurance, research and philanthropy enterprise, Sanford Health. In 2019, Wrigley was nominated by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the United States Senate as North Dakota’s 19th United States Attorney, becoming the first North Dakotan to twice serve as our state’s chief federal law enforcement officer. Wrigley stepped down in February of 2021 and worked as counsel with his family’s industrial/mechanical/commercial contracting firms, Wrigley Mechanical, Inc. and BDT Mechanical LLC, both located in Fargo. Wrigley maintains an ownership interest in both companies.
Wrigley was appointed Attorney General by Governor Doug Burgum on February 9, 2022 to succeed the late Wayne Stenehjem.
Drew and Kathleen Wrigley live in Bismarck and have three children.