Americans For Tax Fairness Names David Kass As Executive Director

April 11, 2023

Council on Foundations’ David Kass Becomes New Executive Director,
Replacing Founding Chief Frank Clemente

Washington, D.C. Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) announced today the selection of David Kass as the Executive Director, succeeding Frank Clemente who is retiring as head of the group 11 years after helping found it.  

Kass, who will assume the new role on April 17, 2023, brings a successful track record of more than 25 years of working with coalitions, leading advocacy campaigns, and fundraising, and an extensive knowledge of tax issues. 

“We are thrilled that David has accepted our offer to serve as Executive Director for ATF,” said Ed Jayne, co-chair of ATF and Director of Federal Government Affairs at AFSCME. “He understands how coalitions work, he brings extensive experience working with Congress and the Administration, and he listens and gets stuff done.”  

Kass thanked the ATF Search Committee for allowing him the chance to serve.

“Over the last 11 years, ATF and this community has accomplished so much,” said Kass. “I am thrilled to partner with this coalition to build on ATF’s incredible work and make sure that billionaires and corporations pay their fair share of taxes to equitably fund the social programs people need to thrive.” 

Kass previously served as President of the Council for a Strong America, where he led the creation of an organization of “unexpected messengers” including retired admirals and generals, law enforcement leaders, business executives, pastors, and prominent coaches and athletes who argue that investments in children strengthen our country.  

He also served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the U.S. Department of Housing and worked on Capitol Hill for then-Senator John Kerry. Most recently he was the Vice President for Government Affairs and Legal Resources at the Council on Foundations where he led the Council’s legislative and policy strategy on Capitol Hill and with the Administration to help the organization’s 800 foundations advance the greater good.

David has a master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs, a master’s in Political Science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and an undergraduate degree from Amherst College.

Under Clemente’s leadership, ATF has played a key role in transforming the national  conversation over taxes and public investment. The group has helped replace the discredited trickle-down theory of tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, and austerity for everyone else, with a demand for investments in working families paid for with fairer taxes on the richest Americans and most profitable corporations. President Biden has notably embraced this policy switch. 

“I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished a lot over the past 11 years, helping to move tax fairness to the center of Washington’s perennial tax-and-spend budget battles,” said Clemente. “Nothing is harder in the world of politics and policy than changing the basic terms of the debate, and yet real change is impossible without such transformation. ATF has been a strong and enduring coalition that has led the way. I know I’m leaving ATF in excellent hands with David Kass, who will I’m sure take the organization to the next level in its ongoing quest for tax fairness for the American people.”

The ATF search committee led a rigorous, national search in partnership with Ford Webb Associates, a search firm that specializes in placing Executive Directors in mission-driven roles. 

 About Americans for Tax Fairness

 Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of hundreds of national, state and local endorsing organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This requires big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes. ATF is a project of the New Venture Fund, a section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

ATF has a sister organization, Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund, which is a fiscally sponsored project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a section 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.