Mike Duncan
Mike Duncan official photo.jpg
Member of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service
Assumed office
September 13, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byThurgood Marshall Jr.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority
In office
May 18, 2009 – May 2010
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byWilliam B. Sansom[1]
Succeeded byDennis C. Bottorff
Chair of the Republican National Committee
In office
January 19, 2007 – January 30, 2009
Serving with Mel Martínez (2007)*
Preceded byKen Mehlman
Succeeded byMichael Steele
Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority
In office
March 2006 – May 18, 2011
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byPeter Mahurin
Personal details
Born1951 (age 67–68)
Oneida, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Joanne Duncan
RelativesRobert (son)
EducationUniversity of the Cumberlands (BA)
University of Kentucky (JD)
*Duncan served as National Chair of the RNC while Martínez served as General Chair from January 19, 2007 – October 19, 2007.

Robert Michael Duncan (born 1951) was the chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was elected in January 2007, replacing Ken Mehlman, and served until January 30, 2009, when he withdrew from renomination to the chairmanship.[2] He became the chairman of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority[3] effective May 18, 2009.[4] Duncan stepped down as TVA chairman in May 2010 to become the founding chairman of American Crossroads, a 527 Super PAC organization.[5] On September 13, 2018, he became a member of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.[6]

Life and career

Duncan was born in Oneida, Tennessee. He is active in numerous professional and nonprofit organizations. He served as chairman of a state university[7] and serves as chairman of the board of trustees at Alice Lloyd College, a private four-year liberal arts college in Pippa Passes, Kentucky.[8] He has served as chairman for the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky, a $30 million state-of-the-art regional center emphasizing telecommunications, training, and development. President George W. Bush appointed him to the President's Commission on White House Fellows in 2001. Duncan is a former trustee of the Christian Appalachian Project, the fifteenth largest private social services agency in America. Duncan is also a former chairman and director of the Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program. His student-mentoring program, which began in 1979, was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning and in the Los Angeles Times.

Professionally, Duncan was president of the Kentucky Bankers Association and a director of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank Cincinnati Branch. From 1989 to 1991, during a sabbatical, he worked in the Bush White House as Assistant Director of Public Liaison. President George W. Bush appointed him to the President's Commission on White House Fellows in 2001 and nominated him to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board, a position to which he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, in March 2006. His public service has been recognized with several distinctions including honorary degrees from Cumberland College (now the University of the Cumberlands), Morehead State University, and the College of the Ozarks.

Duncan has been equally active in his home state of Kentucky, where he helped in the successful campaign to win back Kentucky's state senate for the first time in 36 years. In 1998, he took a leave of absence from his business and chaired Jim Bunning's successful U.S. Senate race.

Mike Duncan defended the tobacco industry in an August 15, 1996 AP article: Kentucky GOP Delegates Irked by Tobacco Campaign Issue which said, "Mike Duncan of Inez, a member of the Republican National Committee, defended the tobacco industry. 'It touches as many as 500,000 people in our state. It's the cash crop for a lot of small farmers. It's what allows them to drive their trucks, borrow short term, get through to the next season, send their kids to college'".[9]

Duncan is a long-time supporter and fundraiser for Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader.

He served as general counsel of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from July 10, 2002, until his election as chairman. He was elected treasurer of the RNC in January 2001. Duncan, in his fifth term as national committeeman from Kentucky, has served the party at every level from precinct captain, county chairman, state chairman, to national officer. He was a delegate to the 1972, 1976, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 Republican National Conventions and is one of the few persons ever to serve on the four standing convention committees. He was elected to serve as the 15th chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority in May 2009 and served until May 2010, when he was replaced by banker Dennis C. Bottorff.[10]

Duncan and his wife, Joanne, are 1974 graduates of the University of Kentucky College of Law. Duncan received his undergraduate degree from Cumberland College (now the University of the Cumberlands). They reside in Inez in Martin County in eastern Kentucky. They have one child, Rob, an assistant United States attorney in Lexington, Kentucky, who is married to Valerie Ridder, originally from Springfield, Missouri. The Duncans are the principal owners of two community banks with five offices in eastern Kentucky.[11][12] His son, Robert M. Duncan Jr., has been United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2017.[13]

Duncan ran for reelection in the 2009 RNC Chairmanship Election, but dropped out after the third round of balloting when elections were held on January 30, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Michael S. Steele was later that day elected chairman of the Republican National Committee.

On September 10, 2012, Duncan became the new president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).[14][15]

RNC re-election bid

RNC chairman vote

Source: CQPolitics,[16] and Poll Pundit[17]

Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Michael Steele 46 48 51 60 79 91
Katon Dawson 28 29 34 62 69 77
Saul Anuzis 22 24 24 31 20 Withdrew
Ken Blackwell 20 19 15 15 Withdrew
Mike Duncan 52 48 44 Withdrew
     Candidate won that Round of voting
     Candidate withdrew
     Candidate won RNC Chairmanship


  1. ^ Parker, Sarah (February 12, 2009). "Former RNC chair to head up TVA". CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Burns, Alexander (January 30, 2009). "It's Steele!". The Politico. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  3. ^ Boyd, Gordon (February 12, 2009). "Former RNC head elected TVA Board of Directors chairman". WVLT-TV. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  4. ^ "Inez Man named TVA Chairman". Associated Press via WSAZ-TV. February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  5. ^ "The 'Showdow' Republican Party". New York Times via NYTimes.com. October 29, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Chairman and USPS Board of Governors, Robert M. Duncan". about.usps.com. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Mike Duncan Biography". gop.com. Republican National Committee. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  8. ^ Alice Lloyd College Catalog 2006–2008 (PDF). Pippa Passes, KY: Alice Lloyd College. 2006. p. 149. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  9. ^ M. Smith, Associated Press Political Service Kentucky GOP Delegates Irked by Tobacco Campaign Issue, Tobacco industry document, Philip Morris collection, Bates No.2070912244/2245, August 15, 1996
  10. ^ De Lombaerde, Geert (April 16, 2010). "Bottorff to chair TVA". NashvillePost.com. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  11. ^ "Robert (Mike) Duncan 2004 Hellard Award Winner" (PDF) (Press release). Kentucky Long Term Policy Research Center. October 21, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  12. ^ Alessi, Ryan (February 2, 2007). "3 GOP hopefuls in spotlight". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2007.
  13. ^ "Two Central Kentucky men getting federal posts from Trump". Lexington Herald Leader. August 3, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  14. ^ Izadi, Elahe (August 16, 2012). "American Crossroads Chair Named New CEO of Clean Coal Association". National Journal. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  15. ^ Wartman, Scott (September 7, 2012). "GOP Leader Mike Duncan Takes Over Clean Coal Group". NKY.com. Gannett. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  16. ^ CQ Politics (January 30, 2009). "Republican Choose Michael Steele as Party Chairman". Archived from the original on February 3, 2009.
  17. ^ PollPundit.com (January 30, 2009). "RNC Chairman Vote: Live Coverage".
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ken Mehlman
Chair of the Republican National Committee
Served alongside: Mel Martínez (2007)
Succeeded by
Michael Steele