ITEP and CTJ Boards Announce Alan Essig as New Executive Director

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For Immediate Release: Monday, March 6, 2017

Robert McIntyre, CTJ’s long-time executive director, will retire and former ITEP executive director Matthew Gardner will be a senior fellow

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Board of Directors and the Citizens for Tax Justice Board of Directors are pleased to announce that Alan Essig has been named the next executive director of both organizations. Robert McIntyre, director of CTJ, will retire effective March 31, and Matthew Gardner, former executive director of ITEP, has assumed the position of senior fellow. Mr. Essig will begin his new role on April 3, 2017.

This transition comes after a national search and an organizational review designed to consolidate, advance and strengthen both organizations.

“ITEP and CTJ have been leading voices for progressive tax policy on both the state and national levels for decades, and I am honored to be the next executive director,” Mr. Essig said. “A fair and adequate tax system is the cornerstone of a just society and has defined the work of these organizations. I am excited to be leading a team of extraordinary professionals who are working to assure that elected officials, the media, and the public have access to the accurate, timely, and accessible information that is necessary to promote an equitable tax system.”

Mr. Essig brings more than three decades of experience in tax and budget policy. He was the founding executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI), an organization that started as a one-person shop in 2004 and grew to a staff of 10 and budget in excess of $1 million. Under a decade of Mr. Essig’s leadership, GBPI became the leading progressive voice in Georgia on tax and budget issues that affect low- and moderate-income people.

“ITEP’s analyses have helped shift the narrative in critical policy debates and often helped changed policy outcomes to the benefit of working people and their families,” said Nick Johnson, ITEP board chair. “Alan’s years of experience and leadership at GBPI give him sharp insight into and critical preparation for the state and federal tax policy battles that lie ahead.”

Said Ed Jayne, chair of CTJ’s board: “CTJ’s role in bringing a progressive, knowledgeable voice to the nation’s tax policy debate is unmatched. Not only does CTJ provide informed analyses, its dual work as public interest advocate has brought greater awareness to the role that sound, progressive tax policy plays in ensuring a more just society for all of us. Alan has the experience, skills and conviction it will take to continue this important work in the short- and long-term.”

Since 1976, Mr. McIntyre has been a leading progressive voice for tax fairness, using technical economic analyses to inform tax and budget battles at the state and federal levels. Under his direction, CTJ has been a leader in federal tax reform debates and has helped ensure that public discourse over the nation’s tax policies are connected to the broader fight for social and economic justice. Mr. McIntyre has led CTJ since 1980 and is retiring after a long, successful career.

“Since the ‘Showdown at Gucci Gulch,’ Bob McIntyre, at the helm of Citizens for Tax Justice, has been at the center of every fight for tax fairness,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, referring to the landmark 1986 tax reform act in which McIntyre and CTJ played a leading role. “Bob was a hero of mine well before I came to Congress.  He has devoted his life to serving the public interest by undertaking an immense uphill struggle against those who choose to invest in Congress instead of paying their fair share of taxes.  He never pulls punches. Thank you, Bob for leading and inspiring.  The important work of Citizens for Tax Justice remains vital to preserving our democracy.”

“I’d like to congratulate Bob on this incredible milestone and wish him well in his next chapter,” said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. “Bob is a champion for a progressive tax system that benefits all Americans, not just those at the very top. I’m grateful for the expertise, advice and knowledge he’s shared with me and my staff throughout his career.”

Mr. Gardner is a highly skilled analyst of the economic impact of state and federal tax policies. He has provided advice and assistance to advocates across the country for nearly twenty years and served as ITEP’s executive director for the last decade. His work on corporate taxes has been instrumental in ITEP and CTJ’s successful efforts to raise public awareness of the erosion of the nation’s corporate tax base. Mr. Gardner will continue his important work as an ITEP senior fellow.

ITEP and CTJ are partner organizations, with ITEP engaging in research and public education to inform critical policy debates and CTJ serving as a forceful advocate for more equitable tax policies. Both organizations’ roles in state and federal tax policy debates remain invaluable as more lawmakers pursue top heavy tax cuts primarily benefiting the best-off taxpayers and profitable corporations at the expense of those least able to pay. Federal lawmakers are likely to consider major corporate and individual tax reform in the next year. ITEP and CTJ, under the leadership of Alan Essig, will continue to provide in-depth distributional and other analyses to support state and federal advocates’ work.