The board of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota has named Paul von Ebers to be the company’s new president and chief executive officer.

Von Ebers previously was chief operating officer of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rochester, N.Y. Von Ebers also has worked for Blues plans in Iowa and Illinois.

North Dakota Blue, Fargo, N.D., is a not-for-profit mutual that provides or administers health coverage for about 449,000 people.

The carrier hired PACE Group Inc., Chicago, an executive search firm, to help it fill the CEO post.

Finalists had to have at least 10 years in the health care industry, experience in consensus building, operational experience, and a track record of successfully developing and implementing strategic plans, North Dakota Blue says.

PACE started with a pool of 43 potential candidates who either applied for the job or were identified by PACE, North Dakota Blue says.

PACE interviewed 15 of the candidates, and the North Dakota Blue board had 4 finalists participate in a second round of interviews in Fargo.