The National Association of Bond Lawyers is searching for a new director of governmental affairs following the departure of Elizabeth Wagner, who joins the Internal Revenue Service today as senior counsel to the commissioner of the large and mid-size business division.

Wagner, an attorney, accountant, and former director in the Washington tax office of KPMG LLP, had been with NABL since April 18, 2005.

She could not be reached for comment.

But sources said that NABL has put John McNally, a partner at Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, in charge of a search committee and is expected to hire a national recruiting firm to help with the search.

The group is looking for someone who is strong on technical issues and has relationships with tax regulatory and legislative officials, according to the sources.

Wagner was not a complete stranger to municipal bonds when she became NABL's director of governmental affairs. She had done a small amount of corporate trust work involving munis when she worked at the Bank of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City in the mid-1980s and she had sold municipal securities when she worked at the brokerage firm of Underwood-Neuhaus Inc. in Houston in the 1970s.

She also served as an assistant to IRS commissioner Margaret Richardson from November 1995 to July 1997, and before that was an associate legislative counsel at the Treasury Department for three years, where she advised the secretary and senior officials on tax matters, helped formulate policy positions, draft legislation and testified before congressional committees.

At NABL, she replaced William L. Larsen, who left the group at the end of 2004 after almost six years. Larsen had been a senior attorney at the Farm Credit Administration, a regulatory agency that oversees farmer-owned cooperatives that borrow in the debt markets to make loans to farmers. He previously had worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the former Securities Industry Association, now Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Larsen replaced NABL's first director of governmental affairs, Amy Dunbar, who left the organization in May 1999 to become a full-time mother and part-time consultant. Dunbar, who helped create the post, served as its director for about 10 years.

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