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John Koskinen

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Title: John Koskinen  
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Subject: Daniel Werfel, Internal Revenue Service, Lois Lerner, Premium tax credit, Commissioners of Internal Revenue
Collection: 1939 Births, Alumni of the University of Cambridge, American Chairmen of Corporations, American Chief Executives, American Chief Executives of Financial Services Companies, American Civil Servants, American People of Finnish Descent, Commissioners of Internal Revenue, Deputy Directors for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, Duke University Alumni, Duke University Trustees, Living People, People from Ashland, Kentucky, People from Cleveland, Ohio, Yale Law School Alumni
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John Koskinen

John Koskinen
48th Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Assumed office
December 23, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Daniel Werfel (Acting)
Personal details
Born John Andrew Koskinen
(1939-06-30) June 30, 1939
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Salz
Children Cheryl
Alma mater Duke University
Yale Law School

John Andrew Koskinen (born June 30, 1939) is the former Non-Executive Chairman of Freddie Mac from September, 2008 to December, 2011, retiring from the Board in February 2012. On December 20, 2013, Koskinen was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as Commissioner of Internal Revenue. On December 23, 2013, Koskinen was sworn in as the 48th IRS Commissioner after being nominated by President Obama.[1]


  • Education 1
  • Career 2
    • Appointment as IRS Commissioner 2.1
    • Impeachment proceedings 2.2
  • Personal 3
  • References 4


Koskinen graduated magna cum laude with a BA in physics from Duke University in 1961, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa; graduated with a LLB, cum laude, (JD) from Yale Law School in 1964; and did post graduate work in Cambridge University, Cambridge, England from 1964 to 1965.[2] He was later named a "Significant Sig" by Sigma Chi recognizing his professional contributions to society.


Koskinen served as President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation from 2004-2008. He previously served as the Deputy Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, and then later President Clinton's Chair of the President's Council on Y2K, 2000 Conversion, the Year 2000 problem. He served on the board of AES from 2004 to 2013 and American Capital, Ltd from 2007 to 2013. On March 11, 2009, he was announced as the interim CEO at Freddie Mac. On April 23, 2009, he became the Principal Financial Officer after the death of Freddie Mac's acting CFO. In August, 2009, with the hiring of a new CEO, he returned to his position as non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Freddie Mac.

Prior to entering government service, Koskinen worked for 21 years for The Palmieri Company as Vice President, President, CEO and Chairman, working on the turnaround of large, failed enterprises such as the Penn Central Transportation Company, Levitt and Sons, the Teamsters Pension Fund, Mutual Benefit and Equity Programs Investment Corporation. Earlier in his career, Koskinen served as Administrative Assistant to Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.) from 1969–73, was Legislative Assistant to Mayor John Lindsay of New York City from 1968–69, served as Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the "Kerner Commission") from 1967–68, practiced law with the firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher from 1966–67 and clerked for Judge David Bazelon, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, from 1965-66.[3]

Koskinen also chaired the Washington, D.C. Host Committee for the 1994 World Cup and the Duke University Board of Trustees. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.[4]

Appointment as IRS Commissioner

On August 1, 2013, the White House announced President Obama would nominate Koskinen as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.[5] On December 20, 2013, the Senate voted 56-39 for cloture on the nomination, thereby cutting off a Republican-led filibuster.[6] Senators then confirmed Koskinen in a 59-36 vote. On December 23, 2013, he was sworn in as the 48th IRS Commissioner.[1]

During the first seven months of 2014, Koskinen testified at ten Congressional hearings primarily focused on the questions surrounding the report in May, 2013 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that the Internal Revenue Code. The hearings also focused on the length of time it was taking the IRS to respond to requests for documents and the circumstances surrounding the hard drive crash in 2011 of the computer of Lois Lerner, a major figure in the overall investigation.

Impeachment proceedings

After the Justice Department notified Congress in October 2015 that there would be no charges against Lois Lerner or anyone else in the IRS, 19 members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee led by the Committee's Chairman, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), filed a resolution to impeach Koskinen.[7][8] Those sponsoring the impeachment resolution to remove Koskinen from office accused him of failing to prevent the destruction of evidence in allowing the erasure of back-up tapes containing thousands of e-mails written by Lois Lerner, and of making false statements under oath to Congress.[7][8] In a statement released by the Committee, Chaffetz said Koskinen "failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled. Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress."[7][8] The IRS said on October 27 that it did not have an immediate comment on the impeachment resolution.[8] Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the committee's top Democrat, said in a statement: "This ridiculous resolution will demonstrate nothing but the Republican obsession with diving into investigative rabbit holes that waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars while having absolutely no positive impact on a single American. Calling this resolution a 'stunt' or a 'joke' would be insulting to stunts and jokes."[8]


Koskinen was born on June 30, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. He is married to Patricia Salz and has a daughter Cheryl and a son Jeffery Koskinen.[9] He is a 1957 Graduate of Ashland High School in Ashland, Kentucky.

Koskinen Stadium at Duke University that hosts the Duke soccer and lacrosse teams was named and dedicated in 1999 in honor of the support of John and Patricia Koskinen.[10]


  1. ^ a b Kroh, Eric (December 23, 2013). "2013 TNT 247-1 KOSKINEN SWORN IN AS IRS COMMISSIONER". Tax Analysts. 
  2. ^ "John Koskinen: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek".  
  3. ^ "John A. Koskinen". Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Obama Picks Restructuring Expert To Take Over IRS". NPR. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Obama to nominate corporate turnaround specialist for IRS chief". The HIll. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c Lisa Rein - "House Republicans, in last-ditch effort, move to impeach IRS commissioner over targeting scandal", Washington Post, October 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-28
  8. ^ a b c d e Theodore Schleifer and Tom LoBianco - "House Republicans move to impeach IRS head", CNN Politics, October 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-28
  9. ^ "John Andrew Koskinen". Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Koskinen Stadium". Duke University. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Daniel Werfel
Commissioner of Internal Revenue
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