Bush Pick for USPS Board Is Former FTC, OMB Chief

President George W. Bush said last week that he plans to nominate James Miller to the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service. Miller served as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission from 1981 to 1985 and head of the Office of Management and Budget from 1985 to 1988.

If approved, Miller would succeed Einar Dhyrkopp, whose term expires in December after being extended one year beyond the nine-year norm. As a result, Miller's term would run through 2010.

Miller heads the CapAnalysis practice at Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White LLP, a Washington-based law firm. CapAnalysis consists of professionals who are not lawyers who provide litigation support and do studies for clients. He also serves on the board of Atlantic Coast Airlines, the Tax Exempt Fund of Maryland, the Tax Exempt Fund of Virginia, the JP Morgan Value Opportunities Fund and start-up Recipco Corp.

The White House earlier this year asked whether he would consider it, and “after thinking about it, [I] decided to go ahead,” Miller said. “The financial situation of the postal service is somewhat precarious as we look into the future, and I suppose I was chosen because of my experience as budget director, where I dealt with large numbers, along with the fact that I have served — and still serve — on the board of directors of many companies.”

Miller said he has done work previously on postal issues. Insiders said Miller has been a longstanding critic of the postal service and has repeatedly called for its privatization.

Others were surprised by the announcement, expecting Massachusetts acting Gov. Jane Swift to be Bush's choice.

Bush nominated former postmaster general Albert Casey in March to serve the rest of Tirso del Junco's term, which expires Dec. 8, 2009. The Senate has not accepted this nomination yet, but a hearing reportedly is scheduled for the fall.

The board consists of nine presidential appointees plus the postmaster general and deputy postmaster general. The president appoints the nine governors with the advice and consent of the Senate.

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