Kathleen Flanagan

Kathleen Flanagan

Director of Community Economic Development, The Ford Family Foundation

Kathleen Flanagan develops and implements strategic grantmaking areas on economic development in rural communities. This effort includes policy and practice in workforce development, entrepreneurship, rural economic development and promoting family economic success. She joined the Foundation in February 2016 from the Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton, Oregon, which is an enterprise of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

At the Wildhorse Resort and Casino, Kathleen was the business development manager for 18 years and created a microenterprise development program that offered Native Americans counseling, technical assistance and business training. She partnered with Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corp. to establish a revolving loan fund for Native American entrepreneurs. She also co-wrote a 20-year small business master plan and secured a $200,000 Native American Social Entrepreneurship Initiative grant.

Kathleen has been active in the Oregon Microenterprise Network Board of Directors where she served as president in 2013. She was appointed by the Oregon Governor’s Office to serve on the Grow Oregon Council (2012-2014). She is also a past president of the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of the Ford Institute Leadership Program (2010).

Kathleen has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics (with honors) from Eastern Oregon University.


Rural Funders Peer Network: Rural Community Capacity Building

Posted on April 26, 2022 by Jerry Kenney, Emily R. Warren Armitano, Kathleen Flanagan

As funding flows into rural communities, the opportunity for these communities to access, deploy, and effectively manage these funds has risen as a pressing priority. The ability to assess community needs, design inclusive, ‘shovel-ready’ projects, and coordinate, write, and manage grant applications requires time, human capital, and resources that are hard to come by in overstretched rural communities. This discussion… Read More