Profile: Pompanella ’88 Manages $6 Billion USPS Budget

by Sharon Sanders

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” reads the famous inscription on New York City’s James A. Farley Post Office.

That motto is literally enabled by Karen A. Pompanella ’88, manager, transportation portfolio, who purchases air and surface transportation, and fuel. “I have 10 offices across the country and 160 professionals all working to get the right transportation at the right price in the right place at the right time to move the mail,” she says.

In her previous position as manager of air transportation, Pompanella played key roles in the air cargo network procurement and review process that resulted in a seven-year contract award to Federal Express valued at approximately $10.5 billion.

“Lafayette’s focus on developing critical thinking and communication skills has served me well,” says Pompanella, an A.B. engineering graduate with an MBA from University of Maryland. “My professors were more concerned that I understood ‘what’ I was doing and ‘why’ I was doing it.

“Lafayette prepared me to accept future challenges with the confidence that I could be effective at whatever role I choose to take. Knowing how to think through issues, solve problems, and communicate with people at all levels of the organization has been critical to my success.”

An Alumni Admissions Representative for nearly 20 years, Pompanella got involved because she wanted to help spread the word about Lafayette. “I like talking with students about what they’ve done and where they want to go. Some have a thoughtful, detailed approach while others are more ‘seat of the pants.’ I enjoy explaining how Lafayette’s offerings can further their visions.”