Mayor's Bio

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Mayor Michael R. Brown was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mayor Brown drew from his childhood journeys from England, to Okinawa, Japan, and back to New Mexico as the son of a US Air Force Jet Mechanic. He learned the world view of opportunity, an empathy for diverse cultures and an appreciation for commonalities, and an inherent call to duty, to country and to service. 

Mayor Brown graduated from Baylor University, Waco, Texas in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science and in 1974 with a Master of Arts. He then enlisted in the US Air Force where he served in several capacities including as a doctor and an ICBM Missile Launch Control Officer Commander and Instructor. He modestly fulfilled his patriotic responsibilities, unfathomably serious to most, with his finger literally “on the button” of world war. 

Fortunately for Grand Forks, the Air Force brought him here where he graduated from the University of North Dakota Medical School as an OB-GYN. As things like this happen, it is also where he met his wife, Dr. Ann Brown and began a family that grew to include Michaela and Graydon. 

As an OB-GYN physician at Altru Health System for over three decades, exhibiting both formal and informal leadership at Altru Health System, Mayor Brown nurtured relationships based on competence, trust, and bed-side compassion. 

Being elected as Mayor in 2000, Mayor Brown’s ability to lead the community through the recovery and rebuilding after the 1997 flood is marked by unprecedented partnerships between the City and the business community, the University of North Dakota, and state and federal partners. 

Building bridges over decades-old chasms and creating collaborations under his selfless “you win, I win” mantra, Mayor Brown has forged a “Team Grand Forks” that launched the best conference center and events center in the area with the Alerus, a regional water treatment plant, an unparalleled level of public safety and public works service, and a town-gown relationship with UND befitting the Best College town in the nation. 

His courageous leadership enabled what Grand Forks clutches as traditions like the Wild Hog Marathon, the Dog Park, Town Square, and the Japanese Garden. He has protected neighborhood schools, the Near North and Near South Neighborhoods and renaissance zones throughout the community. When Young Professionals sought connection, he was there. When the merchants and neighbors of Downtown rose to champion the “Community’s living room” along Main Street, he was there. When the GFAFB missions needed to be protected and propelled by community support, he was there. 

When a nascent industry of Unmanned Aerial Systems was little more than a tenuous dream, Mayor Brown boldly invested in and coalesced partners to forge what we know of as the Sili-drone valley. Inspiring confidence in the community’s future the last year has brought a “Billion Dollar Boom” of private and public sector investment that is sure to shape the near and long term future of the community and seed opportunity for generations to come. 

Personal Information Date of Birth:     6/21/50

Marital Status:   Married
Spouses Name:  Ann, MD, Pathology
Children:              Michaela Renee
                              Graydon Richard

Accomplishments Elected Mayor of Grand Forks in 2000 and reelected in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Led and inspired the team that helped rebuild our community after the devastating flood and fire of 1997. Promoted and instilled a vision among community members of Grand Forks as Destination City and a safe place for people to live, learn, work, play and stay. I fostered an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork that unites partners across the region by championing the idea of “you win = we win.”  I also oversaw the implementation of a new evaluation and pay plan that emphasized performance standards and clear communication of expectations. The Grand Forks population rebounded from 48,000 to 59,100 in my term and the sales tax revenue collected has tripled from 7.6 million to $17.5 million. We have strategically positioned ourselves as one of the premier cities in the region, specifically as the “Proud Home of the University of North Dakota” and “Home of the Global Hawk Grand Forks Air Force Base”. As such, our community, state, and federal partners have focused on literally defining the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) sector and is positioned as the epicenter of the “Silicon Valley of UAS”.  I have consistently and effectively championed Public Arts and the role of a vibrant Downtown as vital quality of life issues and means to retain and attract a skilled workforce. I have fostered an appreciation of Grand Forks’ global role and responsibility with support of our Japanese and Norwegian Sister Cities. I have also focused on our commitment to young people and the Grand Forks Youth Commission is an ongoing program to provide voice and leadership opportunities to middle and high school students.

National League of Cities Federal Advisory Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Services: 2018

Primary Commander Minuteman III Missile Test Launch “Glory Trip”: 1978.                                            

North Dakota League of Cities “Outstanding City Elected Official”: 2016

“Mayor of Munchkin City” Wizard of OZ production Burtness Theater, University of North Dakota:  2016.

Education Graduated, May, 1968, Honor Student

Kubasaki High School, Sukiran, Okinawa, Japan
President National Honor Society, 1967-1968                                         

Graduated May, 1972
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Bachelor of Science, Biology

Graduated August, 1974
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Master of Arts, Biology

Master’s in Business Administration (currently in progress)
University of North Dakota School of Business
Grand Forks, ND

Medical School

1978-1982 University of North Dakota School of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine

1978-1981 Third Year Clinical Rotations
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

1981 – 1982 Fourth year Clinical Rotations
Northeast AHEC, Grand Forks, ND

Residency  1982-1984 Obstetrics and Gynecology

University of North Dakota, School of Medicine
Grand Forks, ND

1984-1986 Obstetrics and Gynecology
Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Appointments Altru Health System

Medical Staff
Grand Forks, ND
1991 to present

Chairman, Department of OB/GYN
Altru Health System
November 1999 to present                                          

Clinical Associate Professor
Physician Assistant Studies Program
Division of Health Sciences, School of Medicine
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, S D
July 1, 2000 – June 30, 2001

Clinical Associate Professor
University of North Dakota, School of Medicine:
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of Family Medicine
Community Medicine and Rural Health

Clinical Associate Professor
Physician Assistant Studies Program
University of North Dakota, School of Medicine
Grand Forks, ND
April 1, 2002 – March 30, 2005
 Military Service

United States Air Force Medical Corps                                     
Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND
1985 – 1991                                        

United States Air Force:
1977-78 ICBM Launch Control Officer Instructor
1976-77 ICBM Launch Control Officer Commander
1975-76 Deputy ICBM Launch Control Officer
Professional Employment

842nd Strategic Hospital
Grand Forks AFB, ND

Staff OB/GYN
July, 1986 – 1991                            

Assistant Chief Hospital Services

Chief Surgical Services

Course Medical Director Nurse Practitioner Program

Chief Obstetric and Gynecologic Services

Director of Anesthesia
1988 – 1991

Chief Obstetric and Gynecologic Clinic
1986 – 1988 
Board Certification Diplomate American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
December, 1989
Licensure North Dakota
Professional Organizations American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
North Dakota Medical Association
North Dakota Society OB/GYN
National League of Cities
US Conference of Mayors
National FEMA Advisory Board
Civic Responsibility Serving as Mayor to the People of Grand Forks from 2000 to the present.  I oversee the administration of over 500 city employees, within a dozen departments. I have nurtured and expanded the concept of “Open and Transparent” government by fostering and cementing the role of the Public Information Center in City Government. I have demonstrated efficient and prudent use of tax payer dollars by lowering the property tax mills from 139 in 2000 to about 99 in 2018, while still delivering exceptional customer services to our citizens. The role of Mayor includes developing long-range plans with the cooperation of city council and city departments