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Gay Harvard Grad Matthew Meisel Implicated in Illegal IRS Leak

By on 10.31.13 | 11:50AM

Last year's illegal leak of confidential non-profit donor information by the Internal Revenue Service has been linked to a 2007 Harvard University graduate who was a member of a gay activist group within Bain and Co.

IRS rules prevent congressional investigators from publicly naming the tax agency employee who leaked the information about donors to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Eliana Johnson of National Review reports, however, that the person to whom the information was leaked was former Bain and Co. employee Matthew Meisel. A 2007 graduate of Harvard, Meisel was active in an employee organization called Bain Gay and Lesbian Association for Diversity (BGLAD), Meisel's activism on behalf of gay-oriented diversity hiring programs has been trumpeted in the Harvard Crimson and Yale Herald.

Johnson's National Review report cites investigators with the House Ways and Means Committee for how the information about donors to NOM (which opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage) was leaked from the IRS, revealing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's private contributions to the organization:

[A]n IRS agent working in the Exempt Organizations Division -- the same division that, until May, was under the direction of Lois Lerner, who retired under duress last month -- leaked NOM’s Schedule B to Matthew Meisel, a former employee of Bain & Company. . . . After he obtained NOM’s donor list from the IRS employee, the committee says, Meisel then turned it over to the Human Rights Campaign. Neither Meisel nor the Human Rights Campaign returned calls seeking comment.

Meisel was quoted in a 2008 Harvard Crimson feature:

On a Monday night in September, about two dozen Harvard students gathered at the Harvard Square hot spot Red Line, to be wined and dined by recruiters from the consulting firms Bain and Co. and the Bridgespan Group. . . .
This event hosted by Bain and Bridgespan was just one in a series of efforts from a variety of firms across the country to target LGBT students interested in a future in finance. . . .
“Questions run the gamut, everything from what are your hours like to can I bring my boyfriend out with colleagues? About significant others and everything in between,” says Matthew S. Meisel ’07, an associate consultant from Bain and Co. . . .
About Bain and Co.’s larger diversity goals, Meisel says, “Bain is really looking for a diverse set of people and diversity means a lot of things of course, but as our clients change and as our clients’ needs change, one of the important things is that our team members come from diverse backgrounds.”

Meisel was also featured in a 2010 Yale Herald article about what appear to be widespread affirmative-action recruiting of homosexuals by major Wall Street firms:

Many top companies have diversity or outreach programs for LGBT candidates. Goldman Sachs holds a Pride Summit for LGBT college sophomores and juniors every year; Citibank releases yearly diversity reports to support its broader goal of global citizenship; and in 1999 consulting firm McKinsey & Co. was the sole corporate sponsor for the inaugural Reach Out MBA Conference, which attracts over 1,000 participants annually.
Banks, including Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan, and consulting firms, such as the Monitor Group and Bain & Co., also sponsor the Out for Undergraduate Business Conference (OUBC), which is held in New York City every October and provides merit-based scholarships for LGBT attendees from countries as far away as Australia and China. . . .
[A] prominent member of the Bain Gay and Lesbian Association for Diversity (BGLAD) is a Harvard Business School graduate whom Marco [Chan] had met briefly during his freshman year. When Marco attended the OUBC, which is a hive of networking activity among LGBT business professionals and potential employees, they met again.
“It was he who first approached me about Bain, and he was the one who really shepherded me throughout the process,” Marco said, . . .
Matthew Meisel, a senior associate consultant at Bain who graduated from Harvard in 2007 and is a member of BGLAD, highlighted diversity in the workplace as an asset to the collaborative nature of consulting.
“If you get six identical people in a room together and ask them to solve a really difficult problem, you’re not going to get a very good answer,” he said. “But if you have people from diverse academic and personal backgrounds, you get more creative answers.” . . .
[C]andidates who want more information about specific companies should look to metrics such as the Corporate Equality Index published annually by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the U.S. According to Matthew Meisel, Bain was the first major consulting firm to receive a perfect score of 100 and has received that score for five years running.

Gay "diversity" programs at elite universities and major corporations have hitherto received relatively little attention from the general public. But if federal authorities vigorously prosecute this illegal IRS leak, the reported role of Meisel should bring new scrutiny to this phenomenon.

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