Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin


Office of the President, Leadership Team


Stephanie Herseth Sandlin serves as the 24th president of Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota — the first woman to lead the university since it was established 162 years ago. As a result of her leadership, the university developed and is implementing its transformational Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 strategic plan — supported by the largest and most comprehensive campaign in Augustana’s history.



The key accomplishments celebrated in phase I of Augustana’s Viking Bold journey include a new academic structure and shared governance model; innovative new graduate programs and interdisciplinary undergraduate experiences; enrollment growth fueled by competitive financial aid awards as well as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; the addition of athletics programs, including Men’s Ice Hockey which will compete at the Division I level; and key investments in new and renovated residence halls, outdoor recreation spaces, and the construction of Midco Arena.


Herseth Sandlin graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University, and cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. Called to public service, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, where she went on to serve four terms. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. House from South Dakota and the youngest woman serving in Congress during that time.  


Following her time in Congress, Herseth Sandlin became a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm and later joined Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, as the company’s first general counsel and vice president of corporate development.


Herseth Sandlin is celebrated for her leadership in the advancement of women as well as her policy work centered on agriculture, renewable energy, veterans’ education and tribal affairs. She was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2017, and, in August of 2020, she was named to USA Today Network’s select list of “Women of the Century,” in recognition of her significant contributions to the state of South Dakota and the country. She was elected to serve as president and executive committee chair of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU) for 2023. 


Herseth Sandlin is married to former Texas Congressman Max Sandlin, an attorney and former Chairman of the Board of Feeding South Dakota. She and Max live in Sioux Falls with their teenage son Zachary.