WASHINGTON—Today, Acting Inspector General for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Heather M. Hill announced the passing of the Honorable J. Russell George, the long-serving TIGTA Inspector General. Mr. George passed earlier this week after a prolonged illness.
Under his leadership as TIGTA’s Inspector General since 2004, Mr. George led a staff of over 700 professionals that conducted or supported audits, investigations, inspections, and evaluations to oversee the Internal Revenue Service. During his tenure, TIGTA’s oversight efforts resulted in the recovery, protection, and identification of monetary benefits totaling more than $325 billion and impacted over 440 million taxpayer accounts. Mr. George will be remembered for the stewardship, professionalism, and independence he displayed overseeing our Nation’s tax system.
Mr. George’s passing marks the end of a lifelong commitment to public service. A native of New York City, he returned to the area after receiving his law degree from Harvard University to serve as a prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
Following his work as a prosecutor, he was the Assistant General Counsel in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Mr. George then joined the White House Staff as the Associate Director for Policy in the Office of National Service. There, he was responsible for implementing legislation that created the Corporation for National and Community Service. Several years later, Mr. George served as its Inspector General after being appointed by President George W. Bush.
Mr. George’s public service also included roles as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel for a subcommittee of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. There, he directed a staff that conducted over 200 oversight hearings to improve government administration.
At the time of his passing, Mr. George was among the longest-serving Inspectors General in the Federal Government. During his distinguished career, Mr. George served as a member of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which was established to provide oversight and transparency of spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He was also a member of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, whose mission is to promote transparency and provide coordinated oversight of the Federal Government’s coronavirus response.
Mr. George’s commitment to country, service, and improving tax administration will long be remembered at TIGTA. TIGTA’s thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.
Heather M. Hill, TIGTA’s Deputy Inspector General for Audit, will continue to serve as the Acting Inspector General. Ms. Hill joined the agency in 2011 from the Government Accountability Office and has served in a variety of leadership positions at TIGTA.