Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Louis DeJoy’s ambitious plans for America’s postal service

August 14, 2023
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Ask the average American what the National Institute of Standards and Technology does, or where the closest Department of Agriculture Service Centre is, and you’ll probably get a blank stare in return. But everyone knows what the United States Postal Service (usps) does and where the nearest post office is. No federal agency is more recognizable, or older: the USPS predates the Declaration of Independence.

Similarly, most Americans would have no problem explaining, at least roughly, what the president does, or who the first one was. Doing the same for postmaster-general (pmg) would be trickier. The first was better known for other achievements, such as inventing the lightning rod and helping draft the Declaration of Independence. Louis DeJoy, who has held the office for just over three years, is the 75th pmg. If he is less obscure than his predecessors, that stems from the politically fraught period (in the middle of a pandemic, immediately before the 2020 election) during which he took office, and the conspiracy theories whipped up by the Trump-enraged American left. In office, Mr DeJoy has proved to be effective and ambitious—but his biggest tests lie ahead.

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