Success: Kathy Halvorsen-Enstrom

As an accounting and business administration major, Kathy (Halvorsen) Enstrom ’96 didn’t expect to land an internship in criminal investigation with the Internal Revenue Service. But after a friend saw a job announcement posted outside of associate professor Steve Gilmour’s office, Enstrom’s 21-year career with the government agency began.

Now a Special agent in charge, Enstrom fills a unique niche in the federal law enforcement community. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division works to investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and other related financial crimes. Entsrom’s accounting degree helped prepare her for the job’s distinct requirements.

“Today’s sophisticated schemes to defraud the government demand the analytical ability of financial investigators to wade through complex paper and computerized financial records.”

Kathy Halvorsen-Enstrom, '96
Executive Officer
Criminal Investigations, IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio

As the Director of Operations, Policy, and Support for IRS Criminal Investigation, Kathy is responsible for providing policy, support, and guidance to the IRS Criminal Investigation’s 25 field offices nationwide. Kathy oversees Financial Crimes, Special Investigative Techniques, Warrants & Forfeitures, and the National Forensic Laboratory. She previously served as Special agent in charge of the Cincinnati Field Office.

Hard work has propelled her through the ranks during her impressive career. She credits much of her success to her mentors, including Neil Bernstein, Tom Castle and Gilmore. She, in turn, finds the role of mentor others to be very gratifying. In true Mount Mercy fashion, Enstrom strives to pay it forward and help others the same way her mentors helped 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 mentor/mentee relationship as the mentee.”

Her mentor relationships have encouraged her throughout her life. First, her family and faith taught her values and work ethic essential to becoming a well-rounded person. Then, Enstrom’s time at Mount Mercy helped prepare her for the next big challenge: life after earning a degree.

“Mount Mercy faculty and staff were so supportive of every student,” she said. “They made sure you were ready for the next step in your life.”

While attending Mount Mercy, Enstrom was involved in many clubs, activities and sports. She attributes her time with the Mustang Women’s Basketball team to her understanding of teamwork and comradery, important traits in her field of work.

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

Be a Mustang. Success Follows.