Margaret Milner Richardson
Peggy Richardson served as head of the Internal Revenue Service and led the agency’s 100,000 employees from 1993 until 1997. During her time as Commissioner, Peggy championed improved tax administration and better taxpayer service. She made it easier for taxpayers to obtain information, file returns and make tax payments, and she worked closely with state and local tax administrators and other state officials throughout the United States, as well as tax administrators in foreign jurisdictions. Peggy was the first woman in history to serve in this position.
Peggy graduated from Vassar College with a degree in political science and received her J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review. After law school, she clerked at the U.S. Court of Claims (now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and then joined the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service before joining a private firm in Washington, D.C. She served on the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner’s Advisory Group from 1988 to 1990 and chaired the group in 1990. She also participated in a Joint Committee on Taxation Study on Tax Simplification in 2000-2001. After her service for the federal government, Peggy spent several years as a tax partner at Ernst & Young, where she was the National Director of IRS Practice & Procedure.
Peggy is very active in the legal community as well as the broader community, giving generously of her time to serve on the boards of several foundations. Peggy is a member of the District of Columbia and Virginia bars, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and on the ALI-ABA Advisory Panel on Business and Corporate Law. She is also a member of the Washington Women’s Forum and the International Women’s Forum. She serves on the Boards of Legg Mason, Inc. and Jackson Hewitt, the Eurasia Foundation and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, Taxpayers Against Fraud, the Piedmont Environmental Council, Virginians for Sensible Energy Policies and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She previously served on the Boards of several nonprofit organizations—including USA for UNHCR (the UN refugee agency), which she chaired—the Women’s Campaign Fund, The Fishing School (an after-school program for at-risk children), and the National Cathedral School for Girls, where she served as President of the Parents’ Association.
Mrs. Richardson was named Woman of the Year by the Financial Women’s Association, and she is the recipient of the Federal Bar Association Section of Taxation’s Kenneth Liles Distinguished Service Award, the Tax Executives Institute Distinguished Service Award, and the Hartford Institute Award. She was named a “Washington Woman of Genius” by Trinity College.
Peggy is a native of Waco, Texas. She is married and has one daughter.