Public Policy alumna to lead Michigan’s State Budget Office

October 26, 2023 - Karessa Weir

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Jen Flood, who earned her Master of Public Policy in the MSU Department of Political Science in the College of Social Science,  will lead the State Budget Office as its new director beginning in mid-November after Chris Harkins accepted a new position outside of state government. 

Jen Flood

“Our budget is a reflection of this administration’s priorities for making Michigan a state where everyone can succeed,” said Governor Whitmer. “Jen knows this job well and has what it takes to deliver. I’ve signed five historic budgets into law that make record investments without raising taxes. She has been my point person with the legislature and the budget office every year as we crafted and passed bipartisan budgets that put Michiganders first. We have a lot of important work to do, so let’s keep our foot on the accelerator to get the job done.” 

 “Jen Flood is a skilled collaborator and forward-thinking leader who will take a strategic approach to the budget,” said Jeff Donofrio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Business Leaders for Michigan. “Her work to craft bipartisan solutions and invest in talent, education, and growing the economy will be critical to Michigan’s future. We look forward to working with her in this new role.” 

 “Jen Flood is the perfect choice to lead the State Budget Office,” said Buzz Thomas, Co-Founder of Activate Detroit and Former Senate Democratic Floor Leader. “I’ve known Jen for her entire professional career. She’s intelligent, empathetic, and always centers what is best for Michiganders in every decision. Look no further than her work to pass one of the biggest tax cuts for working families in our state’s history or increasing investments in our schools and expanding child care for parents. Jen has been critical to building policies and programs of equity and equal opportunity that create the foundation for families to succeed. I can’t wait to see how she continues to make Michigan a place of incredible opportunity.” 

Flood currently serves as deputy chief of staff, overseeing the legislative affairs, federal affairs, policy, appointments, and community engagement divisions within the executive office.   

Flood previously served as the director of legislative and public affairs in the governor's office. Before her work in the executive office, she worked as a government policy advisor at Dykema, and spent time in the Michigan House and Senate, including working for then-Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer and former Senate Democratic Floor Leader Buzz Thomas.  

 Flood holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and Master of Public Policy from Michigan State University.

She resides in East Lansing with her husband and son. 

“I am truly honored to join such a talented team of dedicated experts and build on the historic investments Gov. Whitmer has made in education, childcare, roads, talent, and so much more” said Jen Flood, Incoming Budget Director. “Far from being just numbers the state budget is about the kitchen-table issues facing so many families. It is an expression of the governor’s priorities and vision – not just today but for future generations. As a mom and life-long Michigander, this work holds special meaning to me. I look forward to working with Chairs Sarah Anthony and Angela Witwer on future budgets to help empower our communities and show that anyone can make it in Michigan.”