Friends of FMCS History

The history of negotiation, mediation and arbitration

From the Ranks to a Presidential Appointment as FMCS Director

Most FMCS Directors[1] have been individuals with experience in labor/management relations as an advocate or as a neutral.[2] However, there were two exceptions to that practice. These two individuals began their FMCS career as a mediator, but then rose through the management ranks to ultimately receive a presidential appointment as FMCS Director. Like other Directors, they both had experience as advocates before FMCS.

Kenneth Moffett

The first involved Kenneth Moffett who had been a staff representative with District 50, UMWA beginning in April 1958 before joined FMCS as a mediator intern in June 1961. Seven months later, he was transferred to Cleveland as a mediator. In 1967, he was appointed to the National Headquarters as a National Representative.

When Wayne Horvitz became Director in May 1977, he appointed Moffett as his Deputy Director. Moffett remained Deputy Director until January 1, 1981 when Horvitz resigned to allow the new Reagan Administration to appoint a new Director. Moffett then became the FMCS Acting Director for the next twelve months. During that year, a signification reduction in staff was caused by budget cuts. A suit initiated by several SES employees facing a RIF, caused the Justice Department to determine that Moffett, as Acting Director, did not have RIF authority. On January 1982, the White House gave Moffett a recess appointment as Director so he could implement the RIF. Moffett’s tenure was dominated by a budget crisis requiring reorganization, the elimination of 75 employees and a shift to computerization.[3] His tenure ended in July 1982, when President Reagan appointed Kay McMurray Director. Moffett had served as Acting Director and Director for a total of a year and a half.

C. Richard Barnes

The second involves C. Richard Barnes who joined FMCS in 1987 following seventeen years as International Representative for the Laborers International Union. He served as a mediator, District Director (1994) and Regional Director (1995) in Atlanta. Director John Wells appointed Barnes Deputy Director in 1996. When Wells resigned in April 1998, Barnes became Acting Director for a year and eight months. Then, President Clinton appointed Barnes Director. His tenure extended 2 years and seven month, until President Bush appointed Peter Hurtgen. Barnes served as Acting Director and Director for a total of just over four years.

[1] For a complete chronological list of all FMCS Directors and Acting Directors go to the Friends website at, and click on Documents and then on Directors of USCS and FMCS.

[2] Since 1947, Presidents have appointed eighteen Directors and six Acting Directors who did not become Director. Two of the latter were appointed twice.

[3] This period witnessed the beginning of a significant decline in union membership, collective bargaining and mediation, which continues today.

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