University of Virginia School of Law: Public Policy and Regulation - Connections
Public Policy and Regulation
Public Policy and Regulation The Program Curriculum Clinics Faculty Public Policy Connections

George Yin held one of the most influential tax posts in the country as chief of staff of the U.S. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation from 2003-05.

Yin oversaw a staff of about 70 in six different locations — primarily lawyers, economists and accountants — who worked collaboratively with members of Congress and their staffs on every aspect of the tax legislative process.

Yin and his staff developed more than 70 specific recommendations to help close the $300 billion “tax gap,” the difference between the taxes owed under the law and the amount actually paid.

Today, Yin’s scholarship continues to focus on real-world solutions to tax dilemmas. He said he tends to favor reforms that promote savings and investment over consumption.

“In general, I would favor a more comprehensive income tax base, with reduced and fewer allowances subsidizing consumption choices made by taxpayers, [and] reduced tax rates that are consistent with the country’s need to begin addressing the extremely challenging intermediate-term budget deficit situation.”

Public Policy Connections

Virginia’s professors have extensive experience in public policy through government posts, as consultants and as volunteers. Professors have started their careers in, or taken leave to work at, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Solicitor General’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security and more. Others have advised state officials on proper policing policies, or served on committees or commissions on intellectual property, mental health, legislative reform and national security issues. Still others have worked for NGOs and advocacy organizations focused on shaping public policy. Examples of current and past work include:

BARBARA E. ARMACOST, attorney adviser, Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel

MARGO A. BAGLEY, member, Public Patent Foundation Board of Directors

RICHARD J. BONNIE, associate director, National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse; secretary of the first National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse; chair, Virginia Commission on Mental Health Law Reform; chair, Institute of Medicine committees; special assistant to the Attorney General of the U.S.; consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy; chair of Virginia State Human Rights Committee

JONATHAN Z. CANNON, general counsel (and other leadership posts), Environmental Protection Agency

ASHLEY S. DEEKS, assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs, State Department Office of the Legal Adviser; legal adviser, U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

MICHAEL DORAN, attorney advisor and acting deputy benefits tax counsel in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department

JOHN DUFFY, attorney-advisor, Justice Department

KIMBERLY KESSLER FERZAN, special assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia

DOUG FORD, policy analyst, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

RACHEL A. HARMON, trial attorney, Justice Department, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section

JOHN C. HARRISON, counselor on international law, State Department; deputy assistant attorney general, Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel

TOBY J. HEYTENS, assistant (attorney), Office of the Solicitor General

A. E. DICK HOWARD, executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia's current constitution, counsel to the General Assembly of Virginia, counselor to the governor of Virginia and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

MICHAEL LIVERMORE, executive director, Institute for Policy Integrity

DAVID A. MARTIN, principal deputy general counsel, Department of Homeland Security; general counsel, Immigration and Naturalization Service

JOHN MONAHAN, member, Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council; member, Institute of Medicine

JOHN NORTON MOORE, chair of the Board of Directors, U.S. Institute of Peace; chairman, NSC Interagency Task Force on the Law of the Sea; and U.S. ambassador to the Law of the Sea Conference; counselor on international law, State Department

THOMAS NACHBAR, brigade judge advocate, U.S. Army Reserve; senior advisor, Department of Defense, Office of Rule of Law and Detainee Policy

A. SPRIGHTLEY RYAN, inspector general, Smithsonian Institution; trial attorney, Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department

MOLLY BISHOP SHADEL, attorney adviser, Justice Department Office of Intelligence Policy and Review

A. BENJAMIN SPENCER, member, Judicial Conference of the United States Advisory Committee on Civil Rules

PAUL B. STEPHAN, counselor on international law, State Department; consultant to U.S. Treasury Department and World Bank; consultant to the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

GEORGE K. YIN, chief of staff, U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation; tax counsel; U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

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