Kamala Harris and Andrew Strelka
Vice President Kamala Harris and Andrew Strelka

WCL Connections: Alumni Named to Top Tax Law Positions in New Administration

Feb. 18, 2021

Adding to the list of Washington College of Law alumni, faculty, and administrators joining the Biden Administration in various policy roles, Aruna Kalyanam ’07 and Andrew Strelka ’08 have joined the new administration in positions focusing on tax policy and compliance. Strelka is Senior Tax Counsel in the White House Counsel’s Office and Kalyanam is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax and Budget in the Treasury Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs.

Aruna Kalyanam
Aruna Kalyanam

A Veteran of Capitol Hill
Kalyanam is a veteran of Capitol Hill, bringing over 21 years of experience in the tax policy legislative process with her to the Treasury Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs, the Department said in an announcement of new hires.  Kalyanam most recently served on the Ways and Means Committee as Deputy Chief Tax Counsel and Staff Director of the Select Revenue Measures (the dedicated tax policy Subcommittee) under Chairman Richard E. Neal and Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson. She has been involved in every major tax legislative package on Capitol Hill since 2001 and led the Ways and Means Committee’s policy development on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and infrastructure.

A Focus on Federal Tax Compliance
Strelka’s position as Senior Tax Counsel in the White House Counsel's Office brings a focus on federal tax compliance. His role will center less around tax policy and “more on the nuts and bolts of how U.S. taxpayers meet their federal tax compliance obligations,” he notes.  

In 2008, after graduating from AU Washington College of Law where he was a student attorney in the Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic, Strelka began his legal career at the IRS as a Presidential Management Fellow, which included a detail to the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney's Office.  Strelka joined the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division in 2010 through the Attorney General’s Honors Program.  While at the Tax Division, he was named national chair of the Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation and received the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Federal Lawyer Award.  In 2013, Strelka was detailed from Justice to the Obama White House, and in 2014, he left the government and eventually joined the tax controversy group at Latham & Watkins. In fall 2020, Strelka joined the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition team as tax counsel, and on Jan. 20, 2021, he assumed his current role of Senior Tax Counsel in the Biden-Harris White House.