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Kathy Halvorsen-Enstrom '96 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Kathy Halvorsen-Enstrom '96

Accounting & Administrative Management

Climbing the Ladder

From student, to intern, to Executive Special Agent in Charge, to Director of Operations, Policy and Support, Kathy Halvorsen-Enstrom ’96 has climbed her way up the rungs of success within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigative body. 

Enstrom never expected to intern in criminal investigation with the IRS, much less find a career there, but nonetheless, she found that her degree prepared her for her career’s distinct requirements.

Eye-opening flyer

It all started when a friend saw a job announcement outside of Associate Professor of Accounting Steve Gilmour’s office. That Special Agent internship led to a job as Special Agent in Chicago. From there, Enstrom was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent in Milwaukee. Her next four jobs spanned the continent from 2010 to 2017, as Deputy Attachè in Ottawa, Canda, then as Senior Analyst in Washington D.C., then Assistant Special Agent in Charge in Los Angeles, and then as Special Agent in Charge in Cincinnati and New York.

"Today’s sophisticated schemes to defraud the government demand the analytical ability of financial investigators to wade through complex paper and computerized financial records," said Halvorsen-Enstrom. "My degree from Mount Mercy was essential to the success I am having in my career"

Today’s sophisticated schemes to defraud the government demand the analytical ability of financial investigators to wade through complex paper and computerized financial records. My degree from Mount Mercy was essential to the success I am having in my career

Kathy Halvorsen-Enstrom '96
Accounting & Administrative Management

Enstrom became the Director of Operations, Policy, and Support for the IRS Criminal Investigation shortly after. Under this position, she oversaw Financial Crimes, Special Investigative Techniques, Warrants & Forfeitures, and the National Forensic Laboratory. Her diverse career experiences before this position prepared for the underlying challenges.

In August of 2019, Enstrom was promoted to Executive Special Agent in Charge in Chicago. As of October 2019, Enstrom was the Director of Operations, Policy and Support. Her hard work and the support of others propelled her through the ranks throughout her career. She credits much of her success to her Mount Mercy mentors, including Neil Bernstein, Tom Castle and Gilmour.

From mentee to mentor

Carrying on the spirit of mercy, Enstrom strives to pay it forward and mentors others as her supporters did for her.

“I make sure I take time with my employees to listen to their goals and subsequently help guide their development in order to achieve the desired results,” Enstrom said. “I probably get as much out of the relationship as the person I am mentoring.”

“I probably get as much out of the relationship as the person I am mentoring.”

The relationships Enstrom’s built along the way have continued to inspire her to improve. These relationships started with her family, then Mount Mercy’s faculty and staff, to her work relationships now.

During her time as a student, Enstrom was involved in many clubs, activites, and sports—including the women’s basketball team.

“Mount Mercy developed me from a kid into an adult,” said Enstrom. “It taught me to be independent, benevolent, a career learner and supportive to others.”

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