Distinguished Tax Authority Mark J. Mazur to be the New Director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Contact: Stu Kantor, (202) 261-5283, skantor@urban.org

WASHINGTON, DC, December 13, 2016—Mark J. Mazur, who has served the federal government as a senior tax expert for a quarter-century, will become the Robert C. Pozen director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center on February 1, Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell announced today.

He will succeed TPC co-founder Len Burman, who will become an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute.

Mazur has been the assistant secretary for tax policy at the US Department of the Treasury since 2012. Previous positions include director of research, analysis, and statistics at the Internal Revenue Service; senior advisor to the energy secretary and administrator of the Energy Information Administration; and staff economist at the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and the White House National Economic Council.

“Tax policy touches everyone and every enterprise. Good tax policy must be grounded in facts, evidence, and clear-eyed analysis, the hallmarks of the Tax Policy Center and a core value in Mark’s long and respected career,” said Wartell. “Building on Len’s stellar accomplishments at TPC’s helm, and with the able support of codirectors William Gale of the Brookings Institution and Eric Toder of the Urban Institute, Mark will strengthen TPC’s unique and essential service to America. Mark joins an impressive roster of TPC directors, including Rosanne Altshuler and Donald Marron.”

Before his government service, Mazur, who earned a PhD in economics, business, and public policy from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, was a tax accountant with General Motors and taught public finance at Carnegie-Mellon University.

“I am honored by the opportunity to work with the talented staff at the Tax Policy Center. TPC makes consequential contributions to the public debate over taxes, a topic that will only grow more significant as tax issues are addressed at the federal, state, and local levels,” Mazur said.

As an Institute fellow, Burman will focus on research and writing. His projects will include examining how tax policy affects the behavior of individuals and firms, and working with the IRS and data privacy experts on expanding access to administrative data while safeguarding taxpayer privacy.

Mark Prater, deputy staff director at the Senate Finance Committee, said, “I’ve known Dr. Mazur as a friend and colleague for over 25 years. It’s been a pleasure to work with Mark in the important roles he has played in key federal tax policy positions. Mark has a well-earned reputation as a data-driven creative thinker who can completely and objectively evaluate tax policy questions no matter from which direction they originate. Over the years, Mark has shown himself to be a problem solver respected on both sides of the aisle and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Mazur when he comes on board as TPC director.”

Charles O. Rossotti, senior advisor at the Carlyle Group and former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, said, “One of the best decisions I made at the IRS was to hire Mark Mazur to modernize the IRS’s research department. He did a great job at that and will do a great job leading TPC.”

The Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution founded the Tax Policy Center as a joint venture in 2002. It is composed of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy, many of whom have served at the highest levels of government. The center provides independent analyses of current and longer-term tax issues and is highly regarded by the public and policymakers for its nonpartisan, timely, and accessible research.


The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector.

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Founded in 1916, Brookings’s mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthening American democracy; fostering the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and securing a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system.