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Former IRS Commissioner to Speak at Sanford

January 7, 2019

Former IRS Commissioner and Duke University alumnus John Koskinen will give a free public lecture Thursday, Jan. 17, at Duke.

In the Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture, “A Life of Public Service,” Koskinen (T’61) will highlight accomplishments and challenges he faced during his career spanning 11 different public leadership positions.

John Koskinen, smilingThe talk takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Fleishman Commons, followed by a reception. Free parking is available in the Science Drive Garage.

Sanford professor Kristin Goss, a political scientist and director of the undergraduate Duke in DC program, will interview Koskinen. The conversation is part of larger initiative at the Sanford School to encourage public service.

Koskinen led the Internal Revenue Service from 2013-2017, and was charged with restoring public confidence in the agency after a scandal. Previously, he headed the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), President Clinton’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion (Y2K) and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

He also served as deputy director of the federal Office of Management and Budget and as the District of Columbia’s city administrator during the 9/11 attacks and afterwards.

“John Koskinen has had a career of public service virtually unrivaled in its breadth and impact,” said Judith Kelley, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy. “He has been asked to take on some of the toughest leadership challenges in America. He exemplifies commitment to public service.”

Besides his wide-ranging experience in the public sector, Koskinen’s career included 21 years in the private sector at the Palmieri Co., which specialized in turnaround management, including serving as president and CEO. Duke’s soccer and lacrosse venue, Koskinen Stadium, was named in honor of him and his wife, Patricia.

The Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture series is made possible by the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust.