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Manal Corwin set to become OECD tax director

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Former US Treasury official Manal Corwin is set to take on the role of tax director at the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration on April 3.

The OECD announced the appointment of Manal Corwin as the next director of the CTPA today, January 13, just as the Paris-based organisation is trying to settle the final details of pillar one.

Corwin will take over from director Grace Perez-Navarro is due to retire on March 31. Perez-Navarro has served as director since Pascal Saint-Amans retired in November 2022.

Once in office, Corwin will be faced with the task of securing the Multilateral Convention on pillar one this summer. David Bradbury and Achim Pross will continue to serve as deputy directors in the tax unit to spearhead the work on the digital economy.

At the same time, the OECD is hoping to see the implementation of pillar two in multiple jurisdictions this year. However, the details of pillar one will decide the future of international taxing rights. This is fundamental to the success of the two-pillar solution to the digital economy.

Corwin will be building on the work of Saint-Amans, who served as OECD tax chief for 12 years. He led the BEPS project in 2012 and delivered the 15-point action plan in just two years. This included the multilateral instrument later signed by more than 100 countries.

Taking on this role means Corwin will be leaving behind her role at KPMG US, where she serves as principal-in-charge of the Washington DC national tax practice. She is also the lead director of the board of directors.

Corwin is a widely respected tax professional with more than 30 years of experience in private practice and policymaking. She has served twice in the Office of Tax Policy at the US Treasury Department under the Clinton and Obama administrations.

From 2009 to 2013, Corwin served first as international tax counsel and later as deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs. During this time, Corwin played a key role in talks on the automatic exchange of information and the early work on the BEPS project.

Prior to this, Corwin was principal of the Washington DC national tax practice at KPMG from 2001 to 2009. She previously served as acting international tax counsel at the Office of Tax Policy from 1999 to 2001.

In her first major stint in private practice, Corwin was a tax attorney at Washington DC law firm Covington & Burling from 1992 to 1999. She previously worked as a judicial clerk for then Chief Judge Levin Campbell at the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

This year the OECD may be about to make history with pillar one, but this is far from certain. No doubt, Corwin will be the tax policymaker to watch in 2023.

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