Should he be confirmed as the 39th director of the United States
Mint, David J. Ryder said among his top priorities would be
combating sophisticated, high-quality counterfeiting of United States
Ryder’s remark came in response to a question posed by Sen. Thom
Tillis, R-N.C., during Ryder’s Oct. 24 nomination hearing before the
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
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Approval of his nomination by the full Senate would return Ryder,
55, to run the U.S. Mint for the second time. Ryder served as the 34th
director of the U.S. Mint from Sept. 3, 1992, through Nov. 24, 1993.
Ryder’s second nomination is for a full five-year term.
Ryder fielded few questions from committee members during the
90-minute hearing. Most of the questioning was reserved for two
nominees for positions on the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Tillis asked Ryder what he believed the future of coins is over the
next 20 to 30 years. Ryder responded he didn’t feel coins were going
away any time soon, but the Mint has to respond to technology
challenges and how they apply to coins and where coins are used in commerce.
An anti-counterfeiting strategy
Ryder called developing an anti-counterfeiting strategy for bullion
coins is a “critical issue” that needs to be addressed because of the
quality of fakes being manufactured in China and dumped on the U.S. market.
Ryder has spent the past 25 years in the private sector working on
anti-counterfeiting and security measures involving coins and paper
money since leaving the government after a 14-month stint as the 34th
The Senate Banking Committee chairman, Sen. Michael Crapo,
R-Idaho, asked Ryder what his priorities would be if confirmed. Ryder
replied that, since the Mint has been without a chief executive since
2011, among measures needing to be addressed are Equal Employment
Opportunity issues, manufacturing and technology advances, and working
to make sure commemorative coins present the value and revenue return
anticipated by legislators.
The committee’s former chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., asked
what the U.S. Mint will do about addressing alternative payment
methods, under the banner cryptocurrency. Ryder said the Mint has to
grow its technology base and added he would welcome prospective
vendors to assist in this vein.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said there are 10,629 people in the state of
South Carolina employed in the business of recycling. He asked Ryder
what the Mint was doing about its Mutilated Coin Redemption Program,
which has been suspended for two years. Ryder said regulations are
being finalized for the Mint to reinstate the program before the end
of calendar year 2017.
In his opening statement, Ryder said he would like to make education
one of his major focal areas.
“As the 34th Mint Director, we introduced an initiative called the
Money Story,” Ryder said. “The goal of this initiative was to educate
the youth of this nation on the history of money, both coinage and
paper currency, via a teacher’s curriculum and video co-developed by
the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This packet of
information was made available to all teachers for use in the
classroom. Teaching our youth early on how to collect coins and other
numismatic products, as well as how to start saving their hard-earned
money, helps lay the foundation of the importance of money.
“Over the years, the Mint has continued this excellent tradition via
various education tools which are located on their website.”
Ryder said his work over the past 25 years since leaving the Mint
has prepared him even more to handle the challenges for the future.
“Having worked in the currency industry for the past 25 plus years,
I have developed a strong operational and technical understanding of
this tight-knit industry,” Ryder said. “I respect the men and women
who dedicate their lives to this industry. During my time with Secure
Products and Honeywell, I was afforded the opportunity to visit and
work with many private and government currency manufacturers here in
the United States, as well as around the world. I will bring to the
Mint Director position a strong understanding of the industry and many
of the challenges it faces.
“Interestingly, one of my last duties while at Honeywell was a joint
project with The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom where we assisted
them in the development of the new UK One Pound Coin, which was
introduced earlier this year. This new circulating coin is considered
to be the most advanced and secure coins in circulation today.”
Sen. Crapo advised Senate Banking Committee members to submit any
additional questions by noon ET Oct. 26, with Ryder to provide
responses by Oct. 30. Should Ryder’s nomination be voted out of
committee, it would go before a vote of the full Senate.
The Mint has been without a director since Edmund C. Moy resigned in
January 2011 to re-enter the private sector with almost eight months
remaining on his presidentially appointed five-year term.
Neither of the two nominations for Mint director made by former
President Obama — first of Bibiana Boerio and the second of Matthew
Rhett Jeppson — ever progressed to receive Senate approval.
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.