Meet the IRS Team in Charge of Exempt Organization Reviews

Their work is in the news, so let’s meet the leadership team at the Internal Revenue Service that was in charge of reviewing those Tea Party applications for 501 (c) status.


Lois Lerner is the director of Exempt Organizations.  All of the mischief which occurred at the IRS took place under her supervision.

Prior to joining the IRS, Lerner was a bureaucrat at the Federal Election Commission.  Beginning in 1981, she served as an assistant general counsel, and was appointed in 1986 to head the Enforcement Division. Prior to joining the FEC, she was a staff attorney in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and received her Juris Doctor from Western New England College of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Nan Downing is the director of Examinations.  She helped implement a “Fast Track Settlement” process for 501(c) applicants.

It must not apply to any conservative or Tea Party groups because they have been waiting for determinations for years after multiple intrusive questions about volunteers and donors.


David Fish is the acting director of Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements at the IRS.

Fish helped implement electronic applications for exempt status.  The electronic applications apparently didn’t speed up the process for Tea Party groups who have been waiting years for determinations.

Melany Partner is the IRS director of Customer Education and Outreach for Exempt Organizations.

Her job is (presumably) to help applicants like the many dozens of Tea Party groups understand and navigate the IRS 501(c) application process. Obviously there’s some room for improvement, to say the least.

Also read: White House Counsel Knew in April of IRS’s Targeting of Conservatives


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