Seth O’Neill Named New Executive Director of CAWS North Dakota

We are very excited to announce the appointment of Seth O’Neill as our new Executive Director! Seth officially assumed his role as Executive Director on January 2nd, 2024.

Seth previously worked for CAWS North Dakota as our Civil Legal Attorney in 2021 and 2022, and he contracted as a lobbyist for the coalition during the 68th Legislative Assembly. Seth’s work as a lobbyist helped the coalition pass laws relating to stalking, domestic violence intervention programming, and increased state funding. 

Seth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Minnesota State University Moorhead, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and he earned his law degree with a certification in Indian and Tribal Law from the University of North Dakota.

Most recently, Seth taught and advised social work students as an Assistant Professor of Social Work and the Director of Social Work Field Education at the University of Mary. In addition to his past work with CAWS North Dakota, Seth also previously worked as an Assistant Attorney General in Bismarck, ND and as a Child Protection Social Worker in White Earth, MN. His work included collaborating with social workers, representing state agencies in legal matters, and case management.

“We are thrilled to welcome Seth back to the CAWS team in this new role,” said Melandie Deplazes, CAWS North Dakota Board President. “Seth’s past legal and legislative work for the coalition and strong background in social work and law made him a natural fit for the Executive Director position. We are confident that with his skills and experience, he will be able to hit the ground running and continue the important work of the coalition.”

Seth is originally from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and now resides in Bismarck with his wife, Jayla. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time on the water. 

“I am both honored and excited to be back with CAWS North Dakota as the new Executive Director,” Seth said. “I am committed to serving all individual’s affected by domestic and sexual violence and working towards a future where all individuals and families are safe, healthy, and thriving.”

About CAWS North Dakota: CAWS North Dakota is a North Dakota’s statewide domestic violence and sexual assault coalition. They support and present a unified voice for 19 domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy centers across North Dakota. From training and educational materials, to public awareness and legislative policy change, CAWS North Dakota works to provide North Dakota communities with the best information to better support victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.


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