Faculty Spotlight — Meet David Gamage

By Anna Sago

It’s been said that nothing in this life is certain except death and taxes — but for Mizzou Law’s newest professor, the legal implications of taxation are a fascinating “puzzle” that bridges the gap between the government and the people.

David Gamage has always been interested in the worlds of academia, law and economic policy. He began his academic career by earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just four years and then worked in management consulting before returning to law school.

‘It didn’t actually occur to me in undergrad that one could just be a law professor,” Gamage said. “At some point, while I was in management consulting, I learned that’s something one could do … so I went to law school with the goal of becoming a professor.”

But Gamage’s expertise in the intersection of tax policy and the law has taken him further than just the classroom.

Gamage has helped craft tax policy proposals for a number of states including California, New York, Illinois, and Vermont. He’s also had a hand in federal reforms, including designing President Biden’s proposed Billionaires Minimum Income Tax reform proposal, which was recently featured in the State of the Union address.

Gamage’s interests in teaching and in research — and a desire to be close to his wife and daughter — have led him from Capitol Hill back to the classroom. Gamage has three articles on tax reform forthcoming and is teaching an introductory tax course and a seminar on tax policy this semester.

“It’s a joy to expose students to this fascinating, intellectually challenging space of governance,” he said. “I genuinely enjoy it, and mostly the students also come to genuinely enjoy it— that’s fun.”

As he looks ahead to the future at Mizzou Law, Gamage said he’s excited to continue untangling the “puzzles and games” of tax law and policy through his scholarship and sharing these ideas with students and policymakers.