John Koskinen

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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
(1939-07-30) July 30, 1939 (age 75)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Salz
Children Cheryl
Alma mater Duke University
Yale University
University of Cambridge

John Andrew Koskinen (born July 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 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]


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]

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 IRS used improper criteria for selecting for further inquiry and delay organizations applying for status as social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) of 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, the major figure in the overall investigation.


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.[7] 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.[8]


  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". Business Week. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  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. ^ "John Andrew Koskinen". Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Koskinen Stadium". Duke University. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Daniel Werfel
Commissioner of Internal Revenue