Friends of FMCS History Foundation

The history of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration

From the Ranks to a Presidential Appointment as FMCS Director

Most FMCS Directors have been individuals appointed by the President from outside of government with experience in labor/management relations as an advocate or as a neutral.  However, there were three Directors who came from within FMCS and not directly from advocacy positions. These three 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 had experience as advocates before being hired as Commissioners at 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 (which doesn’t require Senate confirmation) 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. His tenure ended in July 1982, when President Reagan appointed Kay McMurray Director. Moffett had a distinguished career but was never confirmed by the Senate.  Director Moffett passed away in November of 2021.

Charles Richard Barnes

The second involves Charles Richard Barnes who joined FMCS in 1987 following seventeen years as a 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.  In 1999 he was appointed by Director Wells as Acting Director.  Then, President Clinton eventually nominated Barnes for the Director position and he was subsequently confirmed by the Senate and was sworn in  January 2020. He served for a short time after the 2000 contested election until President Bush appointed Peter Hurtgen.

Richard Giacolone

The third was Richard Giacolone who joined FMCS as a Commissioner in 1995 following 15 years as a  management advocate. He was quickly promoted to Special Assistant to the Director (1998) then Director of International and ADR Services (2000).  In 2004 he requested to return to the field as a Commissioner and served the Mid-Atlantic region as a Senior Mediator until he was appointed by the President as Acting Director in 2018 then nominated and confirmed as the 19th Director by the U.S. Senate.  He mediated and resolved numerous major labor disputes including the 2020 Bath Ironworks/IAM&AW strike .He is the second former mediator to be confirmed by the Senate.  He is the only FMCS Director to be appointed directly from a field Commissioner position by the President.




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