Stamp advisory committee members, contact information
Q: I've been unable to get any information about the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.
I've tried the post office, but all I get is who the postmaster is or the manager of stamp development (Terrence W. McCaffrey) but nothing more.
I'd like to know who is on the committee, how they're chosen, by whom and for how long.
What is its mailing address?
A: Each year, the Postal Service receives 50,000 suggestions from the public for stamp subjects. Only 20 make the cut. The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee evaluates all those suggestions and whittles down the list.
One artist whose work was chosen is realist painter Dean Mitchell, who moved to Tampa in 2007. In the mid-1990s Mitchell, a watercolor artist, did a series of stamps featuring portraits of legendary jazz artists Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong. The most famous stamp subject of all time? The king himself, Elvis Presley.
Established in 1957, the committee is composed of a maximum of 15 members, appointed by the postmaster general. They're chosen to reflect backgrounds in a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise.
They meet four times a year, for two days at a time, with an optional fifth meeting if necessary. Members review all eligible proposals that have been received since the previous meeting. Their goal is to ensure that stamp subjects have stood the test of time, are consistent with public opinion and have broad national interest.
Members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, as of November 2008:
• Benjamin F. Bailar, former postmaster general.
• Cary R. Brick, retired U.S. congressional staff, adjunct professor of government and history.
• Donna De Varona, TV sports commentator, Olympic swimming champion.
• Jean Picker Firstenberg, chairwoman, president emerita, American Film Institute.
• Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, Harvard University.
• Sylvia Harris, information design strategist and graphic designer.
• Jessica Helfand, graphic designer, author, Yale School of Art.
• Michael I. Heyman, vice chairman, chancellor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, secretary emeritus, Smithsonian Institution.
• John Hotchner, Department of State-Consular Affairs representative, philatelic writer; editor; lecturer; and judge.
• Karl Malden, actor, past president Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
• Joan A. Mondale, patron of the arts, former vice presidential first lady.
• Martin B. Pedersen, chief executive officer and creative director of Graphis magazine.
• Carla E. Rodriguez, professor of sociology, Fordham University; author.
You can write to them at Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service, 1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013, Arlington, VA 22209-6432.
To learn more about the committee and the stamp selection process, visit www.usps.com/communications/organization/csac.htm.