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USPS career executive who led pandemic response task force to retire this summer

A longtime Postal Service executive who led the agency’s pandemic response task force and helped craft the agency’s 10-year reform plan is retiring at the end of the summer, according to a memo to industry obtained by Federal News Network. 

Chief Retail and Delivery Officer Kristin Seaver, a USPS executive vice president and its former chief information officer, will retire from the agency on Aug. 28 after nearly 30 years there. For the past five years, she served on the USPS executive leadership team. 

USPS Vice President for Delivery Operations Joshua Conlin will take over as acting chief retail and delivery officer, “effective immediately,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a separate industry memo. 

USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer confirmed Seaver’s retirement and Conlin’s acting role to Federal News Network on Monday. 

DeJoy appointed Seaver to her most recent position last summer as part of an executive shakeup of nearly two dozen officials. As chief retail and delivery officer, Seaver led efforts to transform USPS retail, delivery and fleet operations — and helped the agency unveil its 10-year reform plan in March. 

“She created a structure that aligns our core operations with the future of the Postal Service by streamlining operational line of sight, designing best-in-class support for the 450,000 employees who touch our customers daily, and by building a high-performance leadership team that collaborates and drives operational excellence,” DeJoy wrote. 

Former Postmaster General Megan Brennan appointed Seaver to serve as the head of the USPS COVID-19 Response Command in March 2020. The task force oversaw employee outreach and USPS continuity of operations in the early stages of the pandemic. 

Despite a critical workforce shortage and challenges with on-time mail delivery — problems that persist to this day — the Harris Poll, a market research and analytics company, ranked USPS in June 2020 as having the best pandemic response among 100 top businesses, including Google, UPS, Walmart and FedEx. 

“Her leadership and guidance allowed the Postal Service to navigate this novel event and continue our essential mission of serving the nation,” DeJoy wrote. 

Between 2016 and 2020, Seaver served as the USPS CIO and launched popular online services such as Informed Delivery, which emails customers scanned images of their incoming mail and notifies them of packages out for delivery. 

Seaver also led cybersecurity efforts at USPS, standing up an executive cyber risk committee and a USPS Cyber Risk Framework.

As CIO, Seaver also stood up a digital business initiative, which served as the foundation for a strategy within the 10-year plan to build a “storefront of government services” at local post offices. 

USPS piloted the concept earlier this year by standing up USAccess credentialing sites at seven D.C.-area post offices. USPS aimed to fill the gap left by the 500 credentialing office agencies shut down during the pandemic,  making it harder for federal employees and contractors to update their Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards.

At least 5,000 federal employees obtained new or updated credentials from post offices during the initial stages of the pilot, which ran through May.

USPS is also expanding its biometric capabilities to 4,000 post offices and is working with the FBI to provide “rap sheets” to customers applying for visas, adopting a child or applying for jobs working with children. USPS also uses its biometrics capabilities to vet the 120,000 employees it hires annually.

Seaver joined USPS in 1991 as an industrial engineer in Albany, New York. By 2012, she led USPS response and recovery efforts in the Northeast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Before joining the executive leadership team in 2016, Seaver served as vice president of operations for the Capital Metro Area, leading all postal operations from Maryland to Atlanta. 

“Kristin’s legacy is one that will be long remembered and lasting — the industrial engineer who combined energy, people and technology to create a positive culture of collaboration and performance. Over the next few weeks, we will have the opportunity to congratulate and recognize Kristin for her dedication and contributions for the United States Postal Service,” DeJoy wrote. 

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