After 14 years, Allen Kane has left his stamp on the Postal Museum

Coming? Going? Let your colleagues know! Submit items to and put “On the Move” in the subject line. Be sure to include contact information and a picture as an attachment. We love pictures!


National Postal Museum
September 20, 2016

Allen Kane, director of the National Postal Museum, has announced that he will be retiring from the Smithsonian in January 2017. Kane became Director of the NPM in 2002 after serving more than 30 years with the United States Postal Service in a variety of senior leadership positions. One of Kane’s proudest accomplishments at the USPS was his management of the Gulf War Crisis Team, which ensured the successful delivery of 2.5 million pounds of mail per day to U.S. troops.

Head shot of Kane

Alan Kane, Director of the National Postal Museum (Photo by Ken Rahaim)

In his 14-year tenure at the Postal Museum, Allen has overseen many remarkable exhibitions and public programs while also making the museum a world-renowned research resource. His most notable accomplishment was the development and opening of the William Gross Gallery in 2013, which doubled the size of the museum and made NPM the largest center for philately in the world. During his tenure, the museum exhibited many rarely seen and internationally famous stamps as well as important collections, including the Benjamin Miller Collection and the Royal Collections of Queen Elizabeth II. He arranged for the long-term loan of the U.S. Postmaster General’s collection and for the acquisition of the world’s rarest stamp, the British Guiana 1c Magenta. The award-winning collections website Arago made its debut during Allen’s tenure, providing unprecedented access to the philately and postal history collections of the museum and encouraging expert involvement in their curation. NPM built on that participatory model in developing website features for acquiring oral histories of postal workers and for documenting the incredibly broad and robust mailing industry. Allen strongly encouraged research and educational programs with sister Smithsonian museums, readily welcomed school groups, and initiated the Byrne educational loft and the Sundman lecture series.

To ensure strong leadership after Allen retires, Richard Kurin, Acting Provost / Under Secretary for Museums and Research has convened a search committee for a new director. Joining Kurin on the committee are Megan Brennan, Postmaster General of the United States; Donald Sundman and Charles Shreve of the Council of Philatelists; John Nolan, Co-Chair of the NPM Advisory Committee; Cheryl Ganz, Curator Emerita, NPM; and Polone Bazile, Associate Director for Finance and Administration, NPM.


Posted: 20 September 2016
About the Author:

The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.