Tamara W. Ashford ’94 was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a seat on the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C., on November 21, 2014.
Ashford, who is currently acting assistant attorney general in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, was confirmed by voice vote.
In a statement issued in September 2013, when he nominated Ashford to the Tax Court, President Barack Obama said, “Tamara has demonstrated unwavering integrity and a firm commitment to public service throughout her career. I am proud to nominate her to serve on the United States Tax Court.”
Ashford has served as acting assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Tax Division since June 2014. At her Senate confirmation hearing in January 2014, she said her experience representing corporate and individual clients before the Tax Court would serve her well as a judge on the panel. “Through my experiences, which also include leadership positions held outside my professional work, I have come to understand what makes a good judge and amassed the temperament and skills to be an independent arbiter as a Tax Court Judge,” Ashford said at the hearing. “If confirmed, I hope to continue to be guided by the values and principles instilled in me by my family and my past experiences — to work hard and to serve our nation’s tax system by resolving tax controversies fairly, impartially and expeditiously.”
Ashford also currently serves as the deputy assistant attorney general for appellate and review in the DOJ’s Tax Division, a position she has held since 2011. Before she joined the DOJ’s legal staff, Ashford was a member of Dewey & LeBoeuf in Washington, where she practiced in the tax controversy and litigation group from 2008-11. Prior to that, she was a senior adviser to the commissioner of the Large and Mid-Size Business Division of the Internal Revenue Service. She also advised the U.S. director for the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre. She served as assistant to the IRS commissioner from 2004-07.
Ashford joined the IRS’ legal staff after working as a senior associate for Miller & Chevalier from 2001-04. Before joining Miller & Chevalier, she has worked in the DOJ’s Tax Division from 1997 to 2001. During her first stint with the DOJ, she worked in the Tax Division’s appellate section.
Ashford earned her B.A. in public policy studies at Duke University in 1991 before earning her law degree at Vanderbilt. She received an LL.M. in tax from the University of Miami School of Law in 1997. She was a judicial clerk on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1994-96.
The date when Ashford will leave her DOJ post to start her judgeship with the U.S. Tax Court has not been announced.