Cornell University

May 17 2013

Werfel '93 Going To IRS

Graduate taking reputation as nonpartisan problem solver to troubled agency

Daniel Werfel '93 Daniel "Danny" Werfel '93 will take the top job at the Internal Revenue Service, which has been under fire in recent days for selectively scrutinizing conservative groups.

Werfel begins Wednesday as acting IRS commissioner.

President Barack Obama, in a statement, said, " … as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the I.R.S., Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time."

Since 2009, Werfel has been controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management, part of the Office of Management and Budget.

The administration's go-to person on federal spending cuts known as sequestration, he also helped implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus legislation, according to "The New York Times."

Werfel will be leading the IRS through what are expected to be contentious hearings on the improper targeting of conservative organizations.

"The selection of such a technocrat — a well-liked one who also served in the George W. Bush administration, no less — seemed designed to pre-emptively defuse partisan criticism," according to the story in "The New York Times."

It quoted Josh Bolten, who served as chief of staff and budget director for George W. Bush.

Bolten described Werfel as "very professional, careful, nonideological."

"He's low ego. He's just going to tell it straight like it is. It's not that he's bipartisan. He's nonpartisan," Bolten said.

Werfel has worked on budget policy for most of his career in Washington and also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

In addition to earning at bachelor's degree at ILR, Werfel received a master's degree in public policy from Duke University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.