Mark W. Everson, who has served as Internal Revenue Service Commissioner since May 2003, will leave the tax agency next month to become president and chief executive of the American Red Cross.
During Everson's tenure with the IRS, he focused on improving taxpayer service, continuing modernization of the agency's systems and enhancing enforcement actions.
Taxpayer service is always a sticky topic. The agency's Web site is among the best, but folks who don't depend on the Internet say the technological focus has come at the expense of less computer-savvy taxpayers.
And the increased enforcement activities have included the use of private debt collectors, a controversial move that is likely to be stopped soon by Congress.
Many on Capitol Hill, however, now are praising Everson's IRS management during the last four years.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said Everson should get good marks for his leadership in reforming the tax-exempt community in recent years. Congress is set to vote on legislation to restructure the Red Cross. Grassley led the Red Cross hearings and spearheaded the reform bill.
"Since he's had to manage with tight resources, I hope he'll also be good at extracting the maximum value from every Red Cross donation," Grassley said of Everson in a statement following the commissioner's selection. "His sense of accountability, his energy and his respect for institutions while being reform-minded are all attributes the Red Cross needs."
On the other side of the aisle, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York said, "Despite his hands being tied by limited resources, [Everson] worked hard to turn around an unwieldy bureaucracy, which is no easy task, and the IRS is better off today for his efforts."
Everson will assume his Red Cross duties on May 29. No official word yet on the exact date of his departure from the IRS or his successor.