Obama Nominates John Koskinen as New IRS Commissioner

The IRS has been without a permanent leader for some time now.  Acting Commissioner, Steven Miller, had replaced Douglas Shulman when his term came to an end in November 2012.  Then, when President Obama fired Miller in May of this year, the agency was being led by Danny Werfel, a White House budged official.

Today the White House announced the nomination of John Koskinen as the new IRS Commissioner.  Obama’s nomination is likely going to be approved by the Senate following their standard and very thorough hearings.  Obama likes Koskinen because he has vast experience helping large companies on the verge of collapse and fixing bad management and bad morale.

With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances. Every part of our government must operate with absolute integrity and that is especially true for the IRS. I am confident that John will do whatever it takes to restore the public’s trust in the agency.

~ President Obama

74-year-old Koskinen has quite the resume and has often been called on to rescue organizations in crisis.  Here is some of his work experience:

  • Freddie Mac
  • Mutual Benefit Life
  • Penn Central Transportation Company
  • city administrator for District of Columbia
  •  president of the United States Soccer Foundation
  • US Office of Management and Budget
  • chair of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion
  • executive board-member of AES Corp. and American Capital, Ltd
  • National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders

So, Koskinen is certainly an old guy, but maybe the IRS needs more maturity in its leadership.  It is probably safe to say that he wouldn’t approve of Star Trek videos.

It will be interesting to see how Koskinen handles the task of cleaning up the IRS.  Will he fire a bunch of executives?  Will he try to clone himself by hiring like-minded replacements?  Or will it be enough to simply put the fear of God in the existing leadership?  I’m sure we will eventually get to know his leadership style, but for now we should be content knowing that the man gets results.