President Barack Obama nominated John Koskinen, Trinity ’61, to take over the Internal Revenue Service Thursday.
As IRS commissioner, Koskinen — who is also a major University benefactor, former chair of the Board of Trustees and non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac — would lead the agency currently embroiled in scandal for giving additional scrutiny to nonprofits looking for tax exemption based on the groups’ political affiliation. Pending congressional confirmation, Koskinen will replace Steven Miller, who stepped down in May in wake of the scandal.
“John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform," Obama said in a statement. "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.”
In 1999, Koskinen and his wife Patricia established a $2.5 million trust to enhance recreational and athletic facilities and support female student athletes. The soccer and lacrosse stadium was named Koskinen Stadium to in their honor. Additionally, $1 million of the trust was directed toward the construction and maintenance of Duke’s West Campus recreational facilities, and more than $1 million went toward the establishment of the John and Patricia Koskinen Scholarship Endowment—a fund to support female student-athletes.
Koskinen also served as president of the Alumni Association. In 1997, he was awarded the Association of Governing Boards’ Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship.
He was the former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under former President Bill Clinton and chaired Clinton’s Council on 2000 Conversion. He was president of the U.S. Soccer Foundation from 2004 to 2008.