John Koskinen confirmed as head of IRS
President Barack Obama nominated Koskinen for the position Aug. 1 and the Senate confirmed him as commissioner on a 59-36 vote Friday. Koskinen will replace Steven Miller, who stepped down in May after it was revealed that the IRS was giving additional scrutiny to nonprofits looking for tax exemption based on the groups’ political affiliation. Koskinen will serve a five-year term.
The former non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac, Koskinen is also a major University benefactor. In 1999, Koskinen and his wife Patricia established a $2.5 million trust to enhance recreational and athletic facilities and support female student athletes. Duke's 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.
Koskinen has long been a supporter of the sport of soccer. He owned the Washington Stars of the American Soccer League during the 1980s, where he signed current Duke head men's soccer coach John Kerr to a contract after a stint in the English Premier League. Koskinen also directed the Washington D.C. Host Committee for the 1994 World Cup and was president of the U.S. Soccer Foundation from 2004-08.
He was the former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under former President Bill Clinton and chaired Clinton’s Council on Y2K, 2000 Conversion.