The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday that it has tapped a former Capitol Hill aide for its No. 2 spot, appointing Ronald Stroman as deputy postmaster.
Stroman was staff director under Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) for the congressional committee that oversees the Postal Service. With congressional action critical to addressing the agency’s deep financial problems, Stroman’s “depth of understanding of the legislative process, as well as his demonstrated ability to work with members on both sides of the aisle, makes him an important addition to the USPS team as we work through the many issues facing us today,” Louis Giuliano, chairman of the postal Board of Governors, said in a statement.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s new chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is pressing the Postal Service to reduce pay and benefits to cut costs. An Issa spokesman did not comment on Stroman’s appointment.
The No. 2 job had been open since Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe was promoted in December.
Stroman will oversee all outreach and communications with congressional and mailing industry leaders and focus on improving customer service, postal officials said. His appointment does not require Senate confirmation. His salary will be $240,000, postal officials said.
Donahoe launched his search for a deputy after taking over in early December, saying the mail agency’s second-in-command would serve as the public face of the organization, especially with lawmakers and the news media, while he focused on business development concerns. Donahoe sought a candidate with political, media and lobbying experience who could serve as a liaison to Capitol Hill and the White House, where Donahoe is less known.
The arrangement is a departure from Donahoe’s predecessor, John E. Potter, who held both roles and spent a considerable amount of time meeting with lawmakers, especially in private, to teach them about the complexities of postal finances and regulations.
In picking Stroman, Donahoe passed over several vice presidents who either climbed the ranks of the Postal Service or had joined the agency from mailing industry companies.
Stroman, a 30-year Hill veteran, said in an e-mail that “despite its current financial concerns,” he agreed to take the job because the Postal Service “is a world-class organization” with a “visionary plan for the future.”
Stroman is a 1974 graduate of Manhattan College in New York, received a law degree from Rutgers University in 1977 and has worked steadily in federal jobs since 1978, according to the Postal Service. He held senior positions at the Government Accountability Office and the Transportation Department before going to work for the House oversight committee.