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Nistler College Alumna Denise Flanagan to receive Honorary Degree

Nistler College alumna Denise Flanagan to receive honorary degree, alongside Chuck Klosterman, Bob Mau, and Lynn Luckow

UND archival image.

The University of North Dakota will bestow four honorary degrees and honor the University’s two newest Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors as part of its Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11.

The events will be available both as a livestream and on demand.

More than 600 graduates and 1,100 undergraduates are eligible to participate in this spring’s Commencement ceremonies.

About Denise Flanagan 

Denise Flanagan, director of budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior, is a North Dakota native and 1990 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Flanagan will be receiving an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota on May 11.

Denise Flanagan

Flanagan grew up in Fargo, N.D. and graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration with Honors. While enrolled, she worked in the Bureau of Governmental Affairs and was selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar in 1988. Flanagan is also a Defense Leadership and Management Program Scholar, a Certified Defense Financial Manager, and honors include two Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Awards.

She earned a Master of Public Administration with a Concentration in Public Finance from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Master of Science in National Resources Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University. In 1998, she returned to UND to participate in the Hultberg Lectureship Series.

As director of budget since 2010, Flanagan directs and manages budget formulation, presentation, justification, and execution funds control for the Department. She manages the process of assessing resource needs, taking into consideration Administration and Secretarial priorities, program performance goals and accomplishments, policy guidance, and legislative direction and funds control for $32 billion annually in current and permanent funds, and for $23 billion in revenues.

Her office publishes the Interior Budget in Brief and 19 congressional budget justifications a year to assist Congress and the public in understanding the details of the president’s budget request.

Flanagan also served as Director of Financial Management in the Office of Naval Research at the Department of the Navy, where she managed a research and development budget of $2.6 billion that included the Navy’s Science and Technology program.

Other prior positions include Director of Financial Management for the Navy’s Office of Civilian Human Resources and Director of Business Operations for the Navy’s Human Resources Operations Center. Flanagan began her federal career as a 1991 Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

During her tenure, the Financial Management Office received 11 awards from the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense and the American Society of Military Comptrollers.