The American Bar Association Section of Taxation has announced its 2023-2026 class of Loretta Collins Argrett Fellows. The three-year fellowship seeks to create a more accessible and equitable pipeline into the Tax Section and the tax bar.
Loretta Collins Argrett was the first African American staff member of the U.S. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation. In 1993, she became the first African American woman in Justice Department history to hold a position that required U.S. Senate confirmation and was confirmed as the assistant attorney general of the U.S. Justice Department’s Tax Division.
The 2023-26 fellows, who will join last year’s inaugural class of eight, are:
- Goldburn Maynard, assistant professor of law and ethics, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
- Jorge M. Obén, attorney, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (International)
- Sonia Shaikh, tax attorney, Miles & Stockbridge
- Sonya Watson, law clerk, U.S. Tax Court
- Linda Whitfield, associate dean for student services, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola Law School
“We welcome these five outstanding Loretta Collins Argrett Fellows, selected from 82 deserving applicants,” said Tax Section Chair Wells Hall. “We look forward to seeing them seize leadership opportunities and advance the goals of the section, consistent with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, while advancing their own careers in tax.”
The goal of the Argrett fellowship is to identify, engage and infuse historically underrepresented individuals into the section; create a more accessible, equitable and inclusive pathway into section leadership; and support the expansion, diversification and inclusiveness of the tax profession to create a space and sense of belonging for those looking to become involved with the section.
The fellowship is a three-year program and applicants need not be members of the Tax Section or ABA to apply. Fellows receive complimentary ABA and section membership, waiver of registration fees for the section’s meetings and, to the extent permitted, reimbursement for travel and lodging. Fellows will be paired with two Tax Section member mentors during their fellowship and will participate in monthly educational webinars. Additionally, special fellows-only events will allow fellows to learn more about the section and its leadership.