Our People

The Tax Law Center at NYU Law was created to bring deep tax law expertise to bear in the public interest. Our team brings experience across tax administration, private practice, and legislative branches, including the IRS Chief Counsel’s office; the Department of Treasury Office of Tax Policy; the House Ways and Means Committee; and private law and accounting firms that represent high-net worth individuals and large businesses.

Chye-Ching Huang

Executive Director

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Chye-Ching Huang is the Executive Director of the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. Before starting the Tax Law Center, Huang was senior director of economic policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she worked on the analysis and design of a wide range of federal tax, fiscal, and economic policy proposals, in collaboration with tax academics, practitioners, analysts, and advocates.

Huang has written on a wide range of federal tax and fiscal and economic policy issues, testified several times before Congress on tax issues, and appears regularly in the media. 

Previously, Huang was a tax academic at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where she published research on tax law, policy, and regulation, and taught graduate and undergraduate tax law.  She also practiced in tax for New Zealand commercial law firm Chapman Tripp. She has consulted for the International Budget Partnership on fiscal policymaking processes and institutions.

Huang holds an  LLM from Columbia Law School, where she was a Sir Wallace Rowling/Fulbright and James Kent Scholar, and a Bachelor of Law (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Huang serves on the Board of the National Taxation Association, The Tax Benefits Advisory Committee of Code for America, and the Tax Policy Advisory Committee of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Twitter: @dashching

Michael Kaercher 

Senior Attorney Advisor and Director of the Climate Tax Project

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Mike Kaercher is a Senior Attorney Advisor and Director of the Climate Tax Project at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. He has over a decade of experience on a broad range of complex federal tax issues. Kaercher currently focuses on leading the Tax Law Center’s work on the implementation of the climate tax provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as contributes to the Center’s work across a range of other issue areas.

Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, Kaercher spent two years on detail to the House Ways and Means majority tax staff. While there, he designed and advanced tax policy in various substantive areas, including green energy tax policy, excise taxes, and COVID relief. 

For seven years, he was an employee of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International) at the IRS, where he advised the IRS on interpretation, administration, and enforcement of various international tax regimes, including the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) regime, and the Subpart F regime. In that role, he also drafted certain regulations and other guidance related to these regimes. 

Prior to joining the government, Kaercher was an associate at Ivins, Phillips & Barker, and at WilmerHale, where he advised large corporations and universities, primarily on employee benefits matters. 

Kaercher holds a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA from Colgate University. 

Kaercher is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC and Maryland.

Taylor Cranor 

Attorney Advisor, Climate Tax Project

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Taylor Cranor is an Attorney Advisor, Climate Tax Project at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. Cranor’s work currently focuses on the implementation of the climate tax provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, and she also contributes to the Center’s work across a range of other issue areas. Cranor previously worked as a Tax Law and Policy Fellow at the Tax Law Center on a range of areas, including climate tax, administrative law, and digital asset taxation. Prior to law school, Cranor was an Empirical Research Fellow at Stanford Law School, where she designed and analyzed randomized control trials to increase take up of refundable tax credits. Cranor has interned at the Joint Committee on Taxation and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Cranor has volunteered for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) since 2017.

Cranor graduated from Yale Law School in 2021 and from Wellesley College with a degree in economics summa cum laude in 2016. 

Cranor is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC.

Duncan Hardell

Attorney Advisor, International Tax Specialist

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Duncan Hardell is an Attorney Advisor, International Tax Specialist at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. His work focuses on international tax reform, and he also contributes to the Center’s work on corporate and business tax issues. 

Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, Hardell was an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where he worked on tax matters in a variety of domestic and international contexts, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, SPACs, international joint ventures, and the negotiation of class action settlements and tax audits. 

Hardell holds a JD from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar, editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Asian Law and was awarded the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Prize. He holds a BA from Colby College.  

Hardell is admitted to practice law in New York. 

Miles Johnson

Senior Attorney Advisor

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Miles Johnson is a Senior Attorney Advisor focusing on partnership taxation at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. He works primarily on tax and policy issues involving partnerships and other pass-through entities and also contributes to the Center’s work on other tax issues.

Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, Johnson was a partner in the tax group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he worked on a wide range of complex transactions and gained extensive experience advising on partnership and various other tax matters.

Johnson holds a JD, with high honors, from The University of Chicago Law School, where he also served as an editor of the Chicago Journal of International Law. He holds a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Johnson is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Kelsey Merrick

Director of Litigation

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Kelsey Merrick is the Director of Litigation for the Tax Law Center at NYU Law.  Before joining the Tax Law Center, Merrick was a senior housing attorney at Open Door Legal in San Francisco, where she represented tenants in a variety of litigation matters. Prior to her work in legal aid, Merrick was a tax associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Merrick holds a JD from Stanford Law School and a BA in economics and government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. During law school, Merrick served as an editor of the Stanford Law Review and the Stanford Law & Policy Review. She also led the Tax Pro Bono Project to provide free tax preparation through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and practiced under attorney supervision with the Community Law Clinic to represent low-income clients in eviction defense, criminal expungement, and Social Security Disability appeals.

Prior to law school, Merrick was a tax policy advisor at the National Economic Council and a research associate at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she focused on federal budget and tax policies.

Merrick is admitted to practice in California.

Kyle Sweeney

Attorney Advisor

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Kyle Sweeney is an Attorney Advisor at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. His work focuses on the implementation of the climate tax provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, and he also contributes to the Center’s work on tax and accounting issues.

Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, Sweeney was an associate at Covington and Burling LLP, where he worked on matters involving climate and energy, transfer pricing, federal tax controversies, and exempt organizations. Prior to becoming an attorney, Sweeney was a senior associate at KPMG LLP and a full-time accounting faculty member at George Mason University.

Sweeney holds a JD from George Mason University School of Law, an MS from James Madison University, and a BSBA/BA from Rider University. He also holds an inactive CPA license in New Jersey.

Sweeney is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC.

Sophia Yan

 Attorney Advisor

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Sophia Yan is an Attorney Advisor for the Tax Law Center at NYU Law.  Before starting at the Tax Law Center, Yan was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she worked on federal and state tax controversy and planning matters, advising multinational corporations, exempt organizations, and high-net worth individuals. Her work included transfer pricing, Subpart F, and issues arising out of audits and examinations from state and federal tax authorities. 

Yan holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a BA in Public Policy, with honors, from the University of Chicago. During law school, Yan was a tax law clerk at the Senate Finance Committee and an intern at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Philadelphia office. She also served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change. Prior to law school, Yan worked in the enforcement division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Yan is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC. 

Grace Henley

Tax Law and Policy Fellow

Grace Henley is a Tax Law and Policy Fellow at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. Before joining the Tax Law Center, she was an associate at WilmerHale where she worked on complex tax matters, advised tax-exempt organizations on obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status, and gained experience with executive compensation matters including equity compensation, incentive plans, and golden parachute issues. Prior to law school, Henley worked for the International Rescue Committee, where she designed and operated economic development and food security programs for refugees and New Americans including writing and administering public and private grants and overseeing strategic development and monitoring and evaluation.  

Henley holds a JD, with high honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law and a BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. During law school she served as Executive Editor of the North Carolina Law Review and interned with the North Carolina Office of the Solicitor General, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and WilmerHale. 

Henley is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC. 

Emily Shi

Tax Law and Policy Fellow

Emily Shi

Emily Shi is a Tax Law and Policy Fellow at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. She is a recent SJD graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law. Her dissertation analyzed the impacts of federal housing funds on social mobility, economic welfare loss of untaxed imputed rents, and taxpayer behavior. Shi interned at the Community Tax Law Project, where she focused on innocent spouse relief issues for low-income taxpayers, and performed tax law research for the Mississippi Center for Justice and Animal Defense Partnership.

Shi also holds a Taxation LLM with a Certificate in International Tax from Georgetown Law Center.    

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Thalia Spinrad

Tax Law and Policy Fellow

Thalia Spinrad is a Tax Law and Policy Fellow at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2020. After law school, Spinrad worked for two years at the US Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges, San Francisco District Office, first as a Law Clerk and then as an Attorney Advisor. Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, she worked as an Attorney Advisor at the US Small Business Administration. During law school, Spinrad interned at the Congressional Research Service, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, and the ACLU of Delaware.

Spinrad also holds a BA in Mathematics and Politics from Pomona College. 

Spinrad is admitted to practice law in Virginia and California.

Professional Staff

Peggy Chen

Operations Manager

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Peggy Chen is the Operations Manager at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. Before joining the Tax Law Center team, Chen was an administrative secretary at NYU Law. She assisted various professors in travel preparation, event planning, and managing course budgets, assignments, and materials.  

Chen is also an NYU alum, having completed her MBA at NYU Stern and her bachelor’s degree at NYU Steinhardt. 

Richard Chen

Director of Operations and Strategy 

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Richard Chen is the Director of Operations and Strategy of the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. He has a decade of experience in higher education, specializing in strategic planning, financial management, and building infrastructure for start-up teams within universities. 

Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, Chen was the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Office of Global Partnerships at The New School. He previously helped launch the Institute for Executive Education at NYU Law, managed logistics for international programs at NYU Stern, and worked in financial accounting and reporting at JP Morgan. 

He holds an MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management from NYU Wagner and a BS in Finance and International Business from NYU Stern. 

Sam Knowles

Director of External Affairs

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Sam Knowles is Director of External Affairs for the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. He focuses on amplifying the reach of the Center’s work through public communications and ensuring its utility to lawmakers, government officials, partner organizations, and the media. Previously, Knowles led external affairs for major initiatives as an account director at BerlinRosen Public Affairs, including the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, Voices for Civil Justice, and the Russell Sage Foundation. As a member of the management team at Bennett Midland, a consulting firm for the civic sector, Knowles led efforts to increase the capacity of nonprofit service providers, integrate data into the infrastructure of city government, and help localities make the most of federal funding opportunities through ARPA and the IRA. 

Knowles graduated from Brown University with a degree in American history in 2013. 

Natalie Naculich

External Affairs Associate

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Natalie Naculich is the External Affairs Associate at the Tax Law Center at NYU Law. Prior to joining the Tax Law Center, she worked at the office of New York state senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal as a Community Liaison and Legislative Aide. In this role, she worked closely with community leaders and organizations and advised the senator on his response to issues including major transportation, infrastructure, and housing projects. Previously, she worked as a tenant organizer at Housing Conservation Coordinators, where she organized tenants to improve conditions in their buildings and pass state and local legislation. 

Naculich holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. 

Faculty Directors

David Kamin portrait

Professor David Kamin

David Kamin is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law.

His scholarship focuses on budget and tax policy. He has written on a range of areas including taxation of capital, tax planning, tax reform options, retirement security, and budget process.

Kamin has served in the White House and on three presidential transition teams. Most recently, Kamin served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council under President Biden from inauguration until May 2022, helping to coordinate economic policy response to the pandemic and policy on infrastructure, energy, tax, budget, and other areas. Before that, Kamin served as director of economic policy for the Biden-Harris transition team from June 2020 until inauguration. Kamin also served in President Obama's administration from 2009 to 2012. There, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House and as special assistant, and later adviser, to the Director of the US Office of Management and Budget. Kamin also served on the Obama-Biden transition team and on the Clinton-Kaine transition team.

Kamin has also worked at the Committee for Economic Development and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, focusing on budget projections, tax legislation, and social security reform in those positions.

Kamin earned a BA in Economics and Political Science, with highest honors, from Swarthmore College, where he was the commencement speaker in 2002. In 2009, He earned a JD, magna cum laude, from NYU School of Law.

Professor Lily Batchelder (currently on public service leave)

Lily Batchelder is the Robert C. Kopple Family Professor of Taxation at NYU School of Law and an affiliated professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

From 2014 to 2015, she served as Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President under President Obama. There, she was responsible for tax and budget issues, including tax reform, retirement policy, and low-income benefits. From 2010 to 2014, she served as Majority Chief Tax Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where she led Chairman Baucus’s work on tax issues, including tax reform and the fiscal cliffs.

Batchelder’s principal areas of research and teaching are federal income taxes, wealth transfer taxes, and social insurance. Her scholarship centers on tax expenditures, business tax reform, retirement savings policy, wealth transfer taxes, optimal tax theory, and the effects of fiscal policy on economic insecurity, income disparities, and intergenerational mobility. Apart from her academic work, she regularly appears in the media and advises policymakers on fiscal policy matters. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and on the board of Tax Analysts.

Before joining NYU in 2005, Batchelder was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, director of community affairs for a New York state senator, and a client advocate for a small social services organization in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn. Batchelder received an AB in Political Science with honors and distinction from Stanford University, an MPP in Microeconomics and Human Services from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a JD from Yale Law School.

Former Staff

Brandon DeBot

Attorney Advisor

Rose Jenkins

Senior Attorney Advisor

Tabetha Peavey

Attorney Advisor

Peter Richman

Senior Attorney Advisor

John Rooney

Senior Advisor – Partnership Taxation

Kathleen Bryant

Legal Research Associate