Dan G. Blair, Commissioner
Biography of the Honorable Dan G. Blair, Commissioner, U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission
Dan G. Blair is a well-recognized expert and prominent leader in public service management, having served in top leadership positions in the Executive and Legislative branches as well as the regulatory sector. He is a respected authority and speaker on postal and civil service issues on both domestic and international levels.
Mr. Blair served as the first Chairman of the independent Postal Regulatory Commission, the successor agency to the Postal Rate Commission, from December 2006 through August 2009. He was unanimously confirmed as a Commissioner of the former Postal Rate Commission by the United States Senate and designated Chairman by President George W. Bush in December 2006. His current term as Commissioner expires in October 2012.
Prior to coming to the Commission, Mr. Blair served as Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). He was nominated by President George W. Bush in December 2001 and confirmed by the United States Senate in February 2002. In addition to serving as Deputy Director, Mr. Blair was Acting Director of OPM for five months.
Mr. Blair has extensive experience in the postal and civil service sectors. As Commission Chair, he served as the agency’s principal executive officer and directed its operations and activities in regulating the U.S. Postal Service. Mr. Blair led the Commission’s implementation of postal reforms mandated by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Mr. Blair directed the Commission’s efforts in developing and issuing regulations establishing a modern system of rate regulation. These regulations were adopted eight months prior to the statutory deadline. He directed the Commission’s work in issuing a comprehensive report on universal mail service and the postal monopolies. He also oversaw the completion of the last cost-of-service postal rate case.
Mr. Blair reorganized the Commission to better align its staffing and operations to its new mission. He created the Commission’s first Office of Inspector General and created the Commission’s first Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations. He also issued the Commission’s first Strategic and Operational Plan and, working with the Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and the Department of Treasury, directed new budget processes for the Commission. He also oversaw the redesign of the Commission’s website and IT security programs. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to mail communication, Mailcom, a mailing industry trade association, awarded Mr. Blair the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award.
In July 2008, Mr. Blair served as the deputy head of the U.S. delegation to the Universal Postal Union where he addressed more than 1,000 international postal officials during general debate. He also led U.S. delegations to China in 2007 and Japan in 2009 to discuss the U.S. experiences in postal reform efforts. In March 2009, Mr. Blair chaired the Commission’s first international conference of postal regulators, and presented before the second international forum of regulators in Hangzhou, China in May 2010.
Mr. Blair has broad experience before U.S. and international print and broadcast media. He speaks regularly before mailing and postal industry audiences and has represented the Commission before Congress and international organizations. He has testified numerous times before House and Senate postal committees on the Commission’s activities and progress in implementing postal reforms as well as the financial status of the Postal Service.
In recognition of his contributions and continuing active commitment to improving public administration, Mr. Blair was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2008. In November 2009, Mr. Blair was chosen to present, as part of an Academy team, to senior member of the Iraqi government at a conference in Baghdad to discuss the fundamentals of an effective civil service. He also served on an Academy panel that conducted an assessment of the Department of Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System.
As OPM Deputy Director, Mr. Blair led the agency’s work with agencies to streamline and reform their hiring processes. He also chaired OPM's outreach program to veterans. In addition, Mr. Blair served on the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, the federal council comprised of Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Inspectors General. He worked frequently with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and federal agencies in implementing the President’s Management Agenda and in overseeing critical human capital reforms at the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. Blair represented OPM as a witness before U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committees on a variety of issues, including pension and health benefits liabilities affecting the Postal Service. He represented OPM before the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in presenting on the U.S. experiences in civil service reforms before symposia held in Berlin in 2002 and Paris in 2005. He also presented on civil service reforms in two symposia held in Mexico City in 2003 and 2005.
In recognition of his contributions to public service, Mr. Blair has been the recipient of the following awards:
· U.S. Office of Personnel Management Award for Meritorious Service - 2007
· President’s National Hire Veterans Committee Award – 2006
· Houston Federal Executive Board—Excellence in Government Award - 2004
· Federal Managers Association—Recognition and Appreciation Award - 2004
· National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives Award - 2004
· St. Louis Federal Executive Board Recognition and Appreciation Award - 2003
Prior to joining OPM, Mr. Blair served on Capitol Hill, working for nearly 17 years on the staffs of both House and Senate committees charged with postal and civil service oversight.
From 1998 through 2001, Mr. Blair served as Senior Counsel to Senator Fred Thompson on the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Mr. Blair was responsible for review of legislation and policy affecting the federal civil service, the USPS, federal budget process, government ethics, and federal lobbying reform. Prior to joining the Committee on Governmental Affairs, Mr. Blair served as Staff Director for Representative John McHugh on the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Postal Service. Mr. Blair was responsible for directing the Subcommittee's oversight of the USPS and directed the development of comprehensive postal reform legislation. Mr. Blair also served as Minority General Counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Post Office and Civil Service from 1985 to 1994.
Mr. Blair was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1981 and his Juris Doctor from the School of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984. He and his wife, Michele, reside in Washington, D.C.