Believe it or not, the United States Mint has been without an official Mint Director for the past six years. The fact that the position has remained vacant since 2011 is a vestige of the gridlock between the White House and Congress during the Obama Era, when Republicans refused to confirm many of the former president's nominated candidates for positions in the federal government.
Now that we have entered the Trump Era, that's about to change.
The administration has nominated someone with eminently relevant experience to fill the position. In some sense, it's a bit of a homecoming.
David J. Ryder, who served as acting Mint Director near the end of the administration of 41st President George H.W. Bush, has been nominated by President Trump to return to the position he held in the early 1990s. The news was reported by Coin World this week.
Not only is this the first example of President Trump making his mark on the U.S. Mint, but it could also signal a shift in management style at the mint. Compared to its major counterparts like the Royal Canadian Mint and the Australian Perth Mint, the U.S. Mint has been much maligned by collectors for its apparent shortcomings. Complaints of shipping delays, sloppy packaging, uninspired commemorative coin designs, and a congested ordering system have all dogged the mint in recent years.
Ryder is expected to be summarily confirmed by the Senate. Like Grover Cleveland, who served non-consecutive terms as the 22nd and 24rd U.S. president, Ryder would hold the titles as the 34th and 39th director of the mint if confirmed by the Senate.
Coin World explains where Mr. Ryder's career has taken him since he was last employed at the mint:
Since 2007, Ryder has been global business development manager for Honeywell Authentication Technologies as a manufacturer and supplier of covert and forensic security features for the authentication of currency, value documents and products. From January 1994 through 2007, Ryder served as president of Secure Products Corp., a producer of special machine readable materials that provided positive identification of currency, branded products, and other high value documents as genuine.
This additional experience no doubt enhances Ryder's qualifications for the position, as he has been steeped in the cutting edge of anti-counterfeiting measures, which is one of the primary concerns of the Treasury Department in general and the mint in particular.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.