Former Reagan Budget Director Could Return to Postal Board

Tech expertise, high-level government experience, academic prowess, and celebrity could all be present on the Postal Board of Governors should four names entered into nomination for open posts be approved by Congress. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will question the candidates at a hearing next Monday.

Their appointments would bring the board roster within one governor of its optimum number of nine. The important policies and big decisions of the past year have all been dealt with by four governors and the Postmaster General, barely a quorum.

Returning to the board, should he be approved, will be James C. Miller III, who served as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and director of the Office of Management and Budget during nine years in the Reagan Administration. Currently a senior adviser at the law firm of Husch Blackwell, Miller sat on the Postal Board of Governors from 2003 to 2011, three of those years in the chairman’s seat.

The widow of Sen.Ted Kennedy, Victoria Reggie Kennedy (left), would join Ellen C. Williams as one of two women on the Board should she gain appointment. She’s an attorney and strategic consultant for VR Kennedy Strategies and is also the cofounder and president of the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.

Nominee D. Michael Bennett is SVP of information management and CIO of BAE Systems, a defense contractor that supplies avionics and weapons systems. He worked at Northrup Grumman, ultimately becoming VP for contracts, pricing, procurement, and risk management for Northrop’s Information Technology Sector in 1999. From 1980 to 1999, Mr. Bennett practiced law in various positions with Northrup Grumman, EDS Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

The final nominee, Stephen Crawford, is a research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at George Washington University. From 2009 to 2011 he served as VP for policy and research at the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and from 2008 to 2009 he was deputy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Crawford also spent five years as the director of social, economic, and workforce programs for the National Governors Association.

Senior management at the Postal Service hopes its slate of nominees is weighty enough to fill all the empty chairs. “As Board Chairman Mickey Barnett has mentioned in recent open board meetings, the current number of Governors serving on the board is the minimum needed for a quorum,” says USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer. “That’s why it is always our preference that all seats are filled.”

Barnett, himself, was due to depart the board last year, but accepted a one-year extension to keep the Board of Governors viable.

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