Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan

First Woman to Head the US Postal Service

meganbrennan.jpg
Megan J. Brennan, 47th US Postmaster General. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Vowing to “reinvigorate” how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) serves the public, Megan J. Brennan took over as the nation’s 74th Postmaster General on February 1, 2015.

Brennan succeeds Patrick Donahoe, who retired to his Pittsburgh home.

As the first woman to serve as Postmaster General since the Continental Congress created the position in 1775, Brennan began her 29-year Postal Service career as a mail carrier in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Brennan earned a Master of Business Administration degree as a Sloan fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is also an alumna of Immaculata College in Pennsylvania.

As a “Post Office family” the Brennan bunch has a combined 125 years of Postal Service work experience, including her father’s 43 years and her younger brother who currently walks his delivery route in Ashland, Pennsylvania.

She Faces a Financial Challenge

Also serving as CEO of the Postal Service, Brennan knows her biggest challenge will be turning around the USPS staggering history of multi-billion dollar annual operating losses.

To do that, Brennan plans to capitalize on the skills and innovative powers of the 600,000 USPS employees to optimize an organization “that is continually changing.”

“We can reinvigorate the way we serve our customers and the public by constantly looking forward as an organization, anticipating the changing needs of our customers, and adapting as quickly as we can to a competitive and evolving marketplace,” said Brennan.

Also See: When it was Legal to Mail a Baby

In a memo, Brennan told USPS employees, “We can reinvigorate the way we serve our customers and the public by constantly looking forward as an organization, anticipating the changing needs of our customers, and adapting as quickly as we can to a competitive and evolving marketplace.”

“As we collectively shape a brighter future for the organization, I am always mindful that the Postal Service is not merely defined by what it does, but rather by the many people who have dedicated their careers to serving the American public,” Brennan wrote. “Your commitment to our public service mission and to delivering for our customers defines who we are as an organization and is the bedrock of all of our successes.”

At her swearing in ceremony, Brennan stated, “The challenge for the Postal Service is to embrace a faster pace of change, to aggressively pursue opportunities, and to constantly improve our competitiveness.”

Also See: Postal Service Wants to Offer Payday Loans

Quoted in the Federal Times, Brennan pledged to push for Congress to pass long-stalled postal reform legislation that would eliminate the requirement that the USPS pre-fund health benefits for its retirees. The requirement costs the USPS about $5.5 billion a year, and is widely cited as the main reason for the Postal Service’s financial failures.

"If we are able to eliminate that onerous annual pre-funding requirement it frankly gives us some breathing space to talk about the issues," Brennan told reporters.