WASHINGTON- Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (D-Conn)., Wednesday, welcomed two Connecticut citizens – Yale University President Richard C. Levin and PanAmSat President and CEO Joseph R. Wright – to a new commission that will spend the next seven months looking for ways to reform the U.S. Postal Service. The nine-member Commission on the United States Postal Service, appointed by the Bush Administration, will examine Postal Service operations, structure and finances to determine ways to maintain the service’s viability in the face of stiff competition from e-mail and financial setbacks revolving around last year’s anthrax attacks through the mail. The Postal Service has not turned a profit since 1999, due in part to a declining volume of mail.
“The task of reforming the United States Postal Service so that it can carry out its vital mission in the future is a daunting one,” Lieberman said. “Recent efforts to craft an approach that is acceptable to all sides have resulted in disappointment. However, the president has selected a number of distinguished members for this new Commission and I am confident that Dr. Levin and Mr. Wright will make innovative and positive contributions, which I hope will ultimately lead to constructive recommendations for the future of the Postal Service.”
Wright is a former director of the Office of Management and Budget with nearly 40 years of entrepreneurial, industry and government experience. He directs PanAmSat’s global operations, including strategic development, sales, marketing, regulatory affairs and all financial issues associated with PanAmSat’s global satellite services business. Wright was OMB director under President Reagan from 1982 to 1989, serving in the Cabinet and the Executive Office of the President. He was also deputy secretary of the Department of Commerce from 1981 to 1982, and later was on the President’s Export Council as chairman of the Export Control Subcommittee.
Levin, a long time New Haven resident, is a specialist in the economics of technological change. He has also written about intellectual property rights, the patent system, industrial research and development, and the effects of antitrust and public regulation on private industry. He has taught on microeconomics, industrial organization, antitrust, the oil industry, the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing industries, and the history of economic thought. He chaired the Yale economics department, and served as dean of the graduate school. Levin received his bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University in 1968 and studied politics and philosophy at Oxford University, where he earned a B.Litt. degree. In 1974 he received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale and was named to the Yale faculty.
The co-chairmen of the new commission are Republican Harry J. Pearce, chairman of Hughes Electronics Corp. and a longtime General Motors executive, and Democrat James A. Johnson, chairman of the board at the Brookings Institution and a former head of Fannie Mae.