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Who Is Daniel Werfel, the New Head of the IRS?

President Barack Obama meets with Daniel Werfel, incoming Acting IRS Commissioner, in the Oval Office, May 17, 2013
President Barack Obama meets with Daniel Werfel, incoming Acting IRS Commissioner, in the Oval Office, May 17, 2013Photograph by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Today’s the first day on the job for Daniel Werfel, the White House budget official tapped by President Obama to be acting commissioner of the IRS. Let’s hope he got a good night’s sleep.

Werfel, who is 42 and goes by Danny, has risen through the ranks largely as a civil servant, primarily in the White House Office of Management and Budget under both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. (He also spent two years as a lawyer in the Justice Department; he has a law degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a master’s in public policy from Duke University.) Apparently he can wonk out with the best of them: In March, the Wall Street Journal described him as a technocrat who “in one sentence, discussed the ‘heterogeneity in what agencies are doing,’ making ‘a strategic judgment call in terms of are we going to layer on top of that heterogeneity,’ and how all that fitted with ‘a data metrics framework that we anticipated.’”