Sarah Flanagan has headed the government relations staff of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) since 1994. As vice president for government relations, Flanagan directs a comprehensive government relations effort, in coordination with related state associations, that focuses on
issues of government regulation, student financial assistance and tax policy.
During her tenure at NAICU, Flanagan has been instrumental in a number of successful policy efforts, including securing sustained bipartisan political and funding support for the core federal student aid programs; creating new tax incentives for families to save and pay for college; and helping to ensure an appropriate balance between federal support for students and oversight of colleges and universities. Flanagan has an extensive background in higher education policy, education and the federal government.
Before joining NAICU, she was the professional staff member for higher education on the Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts and Humanities under Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, and the staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Children, Families, Drugs and Alcoholism under Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.
Flanagan earned her BA degree from Providence Collegen and her MAT degree from Rhode Island College. In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin University and Beacon College, Flanagan is a trustee emerita at Providence College.