WASHINGTON ( June 27, 2005) — Deirdre Dessingue, Associate General Counsel, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), a nationally recognized expert in the exemption and regulation of religious nonprofits, was presented with the Commissioner's Award in recognition of four years service as a founding member of the Internal Revenue Service's Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities.
The award, the highest honor the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division can bestow, was presented June 7.
Mark Chopko, USCCB General Counsel, said Ms. Dessingue's advice is sought daily by Catholic dioceses and religious institutes as well as by colleagues from non-Catholic religious communities.
"No major initiative with regard to religious tax exempt organizations occurs without her involvement, and hers is a voice on issues concerning efforts to add requirements to those entities and on legislation to remove barriers on those entities," Mr. Chopko said. "The Conference is truly fortunate to have her expertise available through her long and devoted service to the Church."
Deirdre Dessingue holds a law degree from The Catholic University of America. She is co-chair of the American Bar Association's Religious Organizations Subcommittee of the Exempt Organizations Committee, Taxation Section, and a member of the advisory board of the Exempt Organizations Tax Review. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations and The Catholic Lawyer. Ms. Dessingue is the author of Politics and the Pulpit, published by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. In recent speeches she has addressed such issues as religious organizations and fundraising, federal tax code restrictions on church political activity, and federal tax developments for religious organizations.