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Chris Harkins

Executive Director of Strategic Projects and Initiatives

Chris Harkins is the Executive Director of Strategic Projects & Initiatives at MSU Finance. Chris manages and provides counsel and direction for the management and implementation of large, complex and multi-faceted projectsThrough coordination with members of the Finance leadership team on cross-functional initiatives he works with campus constituencies to identify and implement significant initiatives.

As former State Budget Director, Chris was responsible for coordinating all aspects of the state’s $82 billion budget and oversees the Office of Financial Management, Office of Internal Audit Services, the Center for Educational Performance and Information, and SIGMA (the state’s ERP). In this role, he was proud to have been a part of the creation of the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, expanding the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, and creating the first-ever rainy day fund for Michigan’s public schools. 

Prior to serving in the State Budget Office, Harkins served as Director of the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency. In this role, he was responsible for managing the Fiscal Agency and its staff and ensuring that the informational and fiscal needs of the members of the Michigan Senate are metPrior to joining the Senate Fiscal Agency, Harkins worked at Jackson National Life as a Senior Policy Advisor working to coordinate and craft public policy positions for Jackson’s operations focusing on financial services issues, retirement, and lifelong income. Before his time at Jackson, Harkins spent the preceding decade employed in various roles in state government, including within the budget office, department of technology and management and budget for the Michigan House of Representatives. 

Harkins is a proud Spartan and holds a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and a Masters in Community and Economic Development from Pennsylvania State University. Chris has been active in local community groups around Lansing having served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Capital Region, as a member of the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, and as a member of the Mayor's Financial Health Team.


Reporting Units

  • Operations of the Office of the SVP