The United States postmaster general (PMG) is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The postmaster general is responsible for managing and directing the day-to-day operations of the Postal Service. The postmaster general is selected and appointed by the Board of Governors of the Postal Service, the members of which are appointed by the president of the United States, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. The postmaster general then also sits on the board. The postmaster general does not serve at the pleasure of the president, but can be dismissed by the Board of Governors. The appointment of the postmaster general does not require Senate confirmation. The governors and the postmaster general elect the deputy postmaster general. The current officeholder is Louis DeJoy, who was appointed on June 15, 2020.


The office, in one form or another, dates from before the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence, having been based on the much older English and later British position of Postmaster General. Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the Continental Congress as the first postmaster general in 1775 serving just over 15 months. Franklin had previously served as deputy postmaster for the British colonies of North America since 1753. Until 1971, the postmaster general was the head of the Post Office Department (or simply "Post Office" until the 1820s). During that era, the postmaster general was appointed by the president of the United States, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. From 1829 to 1971, the postmaster general was a member of the president's Cabinet. After the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883 and prior to the passage of the Hatch Act of 1939, the postmaster general was in charge of the governing party's patronage and was a powerful position which held much influence within the party, as exemplified by James Farley's 1933-1940 tenure under Franklin D. Roosevelt. After the spoils system was reformed, the position remained a Cabinet post, and it was often given to a new president's campaign manager or other key political supporter, including Arthur Summerfield, W. Marvin Watson, and Larry O'Brien (all of whom played key roles organizing the campaigns of presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, respectively), and was considered something of a sinecure. Notably, poet and literary scholar Charles Olson (who served as a Democratic National Committee official during the 1944 United States presidential election) declined the position in January 1945. In 1971, the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, an independent agency of the executive branch, and the postmaster general was no longer a member of the Cabinet nor in line of presidential succession. The postmaster general is now appointed by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The postmaster general is the second-highest paid U.S. government official, based on publicly available salary information, after the President of the United States.

Postmasters general under the Continental Congress

Postmasters general over the U.S. Post Office Department, 1789–1971

As non-Cabinet department, 1789–1829

; Parties

As cabinet department, 1829–1971

; Parties

Postmasters general over the U.S. Postal Service, 1971–present

See also

* Postmaster General * John Henninger Reagan, the only postmaster general of the Confederate States of America


External links

* * {{Authority control Postmaster General Postmaster General Category:1775 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies