My name is Mike Duncan, and for the past two years I have been honored to serve as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the United States Postal Service. Throughout my life, I have looked for ways to help strengthen and support institutions important to American communities.That’s why I spent five years serving on the Board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and why I serve on the Board of Alice Lloyd College near my home in Kentucky. When I accepted this position, I did so because of my admiration for the United States Postal Service and its public service mission.
I have spent my life in rural Appalachia, and I know how important the Postal Service is to communities like mine. I also know the Postal Service provides important jobs to more than 630,000 Americans – which at one time included my own grandfather, who delivered mail by horseback in East Tennessee.
Since I joined the Board, I have made it a point to get on the road, to visit Postal facilities, meet our workers, and speak directly to our customers. These conversations have only deepened my understanding for and of – the importance of the Postal Service. Serving on the Board of Governors for this institution is a significant responsibility.
The Governors, by statute, represent the public interest. That means I’ll always remember its special role in our nation. And it means I can never forget the challenges that are putting us at-risk. These challenges should come as no surprise to the members of this body. On two occasions, I have sent you the Postal Service’s Annual Report to Congress.
In each of those communications, I wrote that “the Postal Service’s business model is broken and will only produce widening losses in the coming years, absent dramatic changes.” Last fall, Postmaster General Megan Brennan notified the Board of her impending retirement. And in response, the Board immediately recognized that we would be faced with the most important decision we would make as Governors – the selection of a new Postmaster General.
The Board agreed that the Postal Service would benefit from a transformational leader. One who could help us build upon its inherent strengths and confront its longstanding challenges. The Postal Service is an amazing institution, and we can do a lot to make it better. But we are unable to fix our broken business model or control our own pricing without the help of Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission.
What we can do is increase our efficiency and cut down on unnecessary expenses. We can also focus on marketability and modernization, while reducing some expenses.
Business as usual is not an option. It is for these reasons, that after an organized, deliberate, and thorough search process, the Board selected Louis DeJoy to serve as our nation’s 75th Postmaster General. He is the fifth Postmaster General since 1971 to join the institution from the private sector, and we believe that private sector experience can be an asset in identifying ways to improve the Postal Service. In addition, Mr. DeJoy has decades of experience in improving and managing sophisticated logistics chains for Fortune 100 companies.
And as a major contractor to the U.S. Postal Service for more than 25 years, he has a deep knowledge about the institution and how it can be strengthened. Like the Postmaster General, the Board has full confidence in the Postal Service’s ability to perform for the American people this election season.
Five years from now, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of an American Postal Service. Throughout our nation’s history, this institution has delivered for the American people. Now, we all have a sacred responsibility to preserve, defend, and strengthen this organization for the generations to come.
Thank you for your time, and I welcome any questions.”
Note: Chairman Duncan’s written statement is available here.