Robert W. Harms is a lawyer and consultant in Bismarck, North Dakota and owner of The Harms Group, a government relations and public affairs firm specializing in energy development.
Harms served as Governor’s Counsel from 1992 until 2003, under Governor Schafer and Governor Hoeven. He served as senior policy advisor in both administrations regarding energy development, environmental policy, federal relations, public finance, legislative relations and fiscal policy, and served as a key advisor to both governors for 11 years. He returned to private practice in 2003 and formed The Harms Group.
He was president for seven years of the Northern Alliance of Independent Producers, an oil and gas trade association that he formed in 2003. He represents clients in the ND legislature, and consults in oil and gas development, and energy related matters at all levels of government. With deep ties to state government and his prior experience in private law practice and business, Harms brings a unique skill set to assist his clients.
Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Harms co-founded and operated his own private law firm for 12 years in northwestern North Dakota where he was born and raised. He maintains a home, other business interests and long-standing relationships in that area.
Harms is a life-long political activist. He is a founding member of the ND Taxpayers Association, ND Tea Party Caucus, and Citizens for Responsible Government. He was instrumental in passing the Legacy Fund—a constitutional oil reserve fund to serve future generations of North Dakota citizens. He has served in district offices in the Republican Party, as treasurer until June, 2013 at which time he was elected chairman of the ND-GOP.
He has a Bachelor’s degree with distinction in political science from North Dakota State University and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Dakota in 1980. He and his wife, Cherie have two sons, Gunther and Diedrich and live in Bismarck, North Dakota.