Acting Director of the Internal Revenue Service: Who Is Danny Werfel?

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—reeling from criticism aimed at possibly inappropriate investigative tactics employed by agents reviewing applications for tax-exempt status from several “Tea Party” affiliated conservative groups—has a new acting director. Appointed by President Obama on May 16, Daniel R. Werfel has served as controller at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since July 2009. At IRS, he succeeds acting director Steven T. Miller, who resigned under pressure. Werfel took office on May 22, and his term will end at the close of the 2013 fiscal year on September 30.


Born circa 1971, Werfel earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in 1993, and a joint Masters Degree in Public Policy at Duke University and JD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, both in 1997. Although he never played football at the college level, Werfel displays a photo in his office of former Florida quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel in honor of the similarity of their names.


After law school, Werfel served at OMB as policy analyst in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs before serving briefly as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Dissatisfied with litigation work, Werfel returned to OMB in April 2002 to work as a budget examiner in the Education Branch until late 2003, as chief of the Financial Integrity and Analysis Branch from late 2003 to 2006, and as deputy controller from 2006 to July 2009.


As controller of OMB, Werfel was largely responsible for establishing, a federal Web site that tracked how the 2009 economic stimulus program was distributing billions of dollars to jump-start the economy. Werfel also served as a member of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board from 2006 to 2009.


Danny Werfel is married to Beth Werfel, with whom he has two children, Sean and Molly.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:                     

Who is IRS Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel? (by Ed O’Keefe and Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

Obama Names New Acting I.R.S. Chief (by Michael D. Shear, New York Times)

Alumnus Daniel Werfel to lead scandal-rocked IRS (by Mary Catt, Cornell Chronicle)

As OMB Controller, Alum Ensures Financial Transparency (Duke Alumni Profile)


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