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Distinguished Service Award

Richard M. Lipton

Richard M. Lipton

2024 Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Richard M. Lipton

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor awarded by the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association. The award is given to individuals who have had a distinguished career in taxation and who have provided an aspirational standard for all tax lawyers to emulate. The 2024 recipient of this award is Richard M. (Dick) Lipton, in recognition of his outstanding service to the U.S. tax system. Dick has had a distinguished career as a practitioner and scholar, demonstrating superior leadership qualities, expertise in partnership taxation, and willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. He has provided his clients with excellent service and given generously of his time to the legal profession in general and the Section of Taxation in particular.

What is the Distinguished Service Award?

The ABA Section of Taxation Distinguished Service Award was established in 1995 to underscore the Section's respect for and support of professionalism within the tax bar. The Distinguished Service Award Committee annually selects one Section member to receive the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to the profession.

Award Guidelines

Find more information regarding the Distinguished Service Award criteria here.

Pamela F. Olson received the 2023 Distinguished Service Award at the 2023 May Tax Meeting in Washington, DC.

Pamela F. Olson received the 2023 Distinguished Service Award at the 2023 May Tax Meeting in Washington, DC.

2023 Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Pamela F. Olson

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor awarded by the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association. The award is given to individuals who have had a distinguished career in taxation and who have provided an aspirational standard for all tax lawyers to emulate. The 2023 recipient of this award is Pamela F. Olson, in recognition of her outstanding service to the U.S. tax system.

Pam has had a distinguished career as both a practitioner and as a public servant, demonstrating superior leadership abilities, wisdom, and policy expertise.

Above: Pam Olson accepts the 2023 Distinguished Service Award at the 2023 May Tax Meeting in Washington, DC

Born and raised in Minnesota, she received her B.A. (magna cum laude), M.B.A., and J.D. from the University of Minnesota. She started her tax career in 1981 as a trial attorney in the office of the IRS San Diego District Counsel. A year later she moved to Washington, DC to become an Attorney-Advisor in the IRS Legislation and Regulations Division, and then was promoted to become a Special Assistant to IRS Chief Counsel Fred Goldberg. One of her noteworthy projects at the IRS was leading the drafting of extensive regulations on withholding on interest and dividends, which Congress enacted in 1982 but repealed in 1983 before withholding went into effect. ...

Learn More about Pam's career here.

Past Award Recipients

* deceased