Michael J. Desmond is the 48th Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, where he oversees a staff of more than 2,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 attorneys. Mr. Desmond began serving as Chief Counsel on March 4, 2019, following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on February 27, 2019. As Chief Counsel, he is also an Assistant General Counsel in the Department of the Treasury. After serving as a law clerk for the Hon. Ronald S.W. Lew in the federal district court in Los Angeles, Mr. Desmond began his legal career with the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
After serving in the Tax Division, he joined McKee Nelson, LLP, where he was elected partner in 2004. In early 2005, Mr. Desmond joined the Office of Tax Policy at the Department of the Treasury, where he served as Tax Legislative Counsel through 2008. Following his tenure at the Treasury Department, he spent several years as a partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California. In January 2012, Mr. Desmond started his own boutique tax firm in Santa Barbara, California, where he practiced until his nomination as Chief Counsel in 2018. Mr. Desmond has held several offices with the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association and served as a Regent for the American College of Tax Counsel. He also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Law. Mr. Desmond was born in Santa Monica, California and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.