Carole Hillard learned early in life that we have an obligation to give back to society part of what we have been given. To academically prepare herself for that mission, she earned a BA in education from the University of Arizona and two master’s degrees in education and political science. She also received an honorary doctorate degree from Dakota Wesleyan University.
Hillard entered the business community as co-owner of an automobile dealership and served in that capacity for 15 years. She later became involved in public service, serving for seven years on the Rapid City Common Council and four years in the South Dakota State Legislature. In 1994, she was elected South Dakota’s first woman lieutenant governor and served in that position for eight years.
Hillard has now left the political arena and has entered yet another area of public service. As an international consultant, she contracts with the U.S. Department of State and non-governmental organizations. She has completed assignments to 67 developing countries, including Mongolia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Somalia, East Timor, and Pakistan. She also supervised the January elections in the West Bank. In March, Hillard traveled to Afghanistan to assist in creating small business in the city of Kabul.
Hillard serves as an executive board member on the National Crime Prevention Council and is immediate past president of Heifer International. She has completed her tenure as president of the Rapid City United Way campaign and Rapid City Chamber of Commerce. She considers her years of public service a great privilege and pleasure. “To have the opportunity to take my years of experience abroad and share the great American story is one of the biggest blessings of my life.”