Government affairs

Legislative Updates

USPS Board of Governors activity in Senate and White House

On August 28, 2018, the Senate confirmed the nominations of David Williams (D) and Robert Duncan (R) to serve as members of the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors, each for one term.

David C. Williams was confirmed to serve the remainder of a seven-year term that ends December 8, 2019. Williams has a long history of government service. He joined the Secret Service after a tour of military duty in Vietnam, and then served as part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Strike Force. Following his work on President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime, he led the Office of Special Investigations at the General Accounting Office (since renamed the Government Accountability Office). He was then confirmed as the Inspector General (IG) for several federal agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Social Security Administration, the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. His longest stint as an IG, at the Postal Service (from 2003 until his retirement in 2016), led to his nomination to the Board of Governors.

Robert M. (Mike) Duncan was confirmed to serve for the remainder of a seven-year term that ends December 8, 2025. He is a banker and currently the chairman and CEO of Inez Deposit Bank, as well as chairman of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows. Previously, Duncan served on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority and was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2007 to 2009.

Additionally, the White House announced its intention to nominate two more individuals to the USPS Board of Governors, Ron Bloom (D) and Roman Martinez IV (R).

Ron Bloom, who will be nominated for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring December 8, 2020, began his career as an investment banker and union consultant before serving as the special assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers for many years. President Barack Obama appointed Bloom to serve as the Assistant to the President on Manufacturing Policy in 2009, when he helped rescue the auto industry during the Great Recession. In 2011, he returned to investment banking at Lazard Company, where he served as Vice Chairman, U.S. Investment Banking. During his time at Lazard, he advised the NALC on postal issues and appeared at both a national rap session and a national convention. Bloom is currently Managing Partner and Vice Chairman at Brookfield Asset Management, where he helps manage the firm’s private equity investments.

Roman Martinez IV will be nominated for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring December 8, 2024. He began his career as an investment banker in 1971 at Kuhn Loeb & Company until it was acquired by the now-defunct global financial services firm, Lehman Brothers. Martinez worked there as the managing director of investment banking until his retirement in 2003. Since 2003, he has served on the board of directors for several different companies and has been involved in various Republican presidential and Senate campaigns.

To be confirmed, they will need to appear for confirmation hearings before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC). If approved by the Committee, their appointments will be subject to a confirmation vote by the whole Senate.

The USPS Board of Governors consists of eleven members, nine governors and two ex officio members, the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General. While the Board functions similarly to a board of directors of a publicly held corporation, it has not been fully staffed since 2010 and lost its final appointed governor in December 2016, leaving all nine positions vacant. If Bloom and Martinez are confirmed, four of the nine seats on the Board would be filled, enough to achieve a quorum if the Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General are present.

“NALC is pleased to see action taken by the Senate to fill the first two vacancies,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando. “We encourage the Senate to begin consideration of these additional nominations and we urge the administration to fill the remaining vacancies with qualified nominees.”

NALC will continue to work with the Senate and the administration to ensure that letter carriers’ interests are represented.

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