International politics alumna named to executive position in U.S. Postal Service

Katie Moats
July 31, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Natalie Bonanno, a 2003 international politics graduate of Penn State, was recently promoted to the associate general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer for the United States Postal Service. 

During her time as an undergraduate in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, Bonanno appreciated the variety of courses that were offered to her, which allowed her to expand her education in ways that went beyond typical degree requirements. 

“I most enjoyed Penn State’s multitude of interesting classes on a wide range of topics in an open learning environment,” she said. “I was able to learn for the sake of learning about subjects that were of interest to me, which was my most enjoyable educational experience.”

Natalie Bonanno headshot

Natalie Bonanno

IMAGE: Provided

Bonanno received her law degree from Howard University Law School in 2006, after which she began her legal career with the U.S. Virgin Islands Supreme Court as a judicial law clerk. From there, she worked for the Department of Homeland Security as an attorney analyst for the Office for Civil Rights and Liberties, where she primarily dealt with employment discrimination cases.

However, if not for the encouragement and support of her academic adviser at Penn State, Bonanno said she would not have gone to law school at all. 

“As an international politics major in the College of the Liberal Arts, I found my adviser’s guidance, perspective, and career advice to be invaluable,” said Bonanno. “My adviser encouraged me to apply to law school — something I never would have considered before.”

Nine years after leaving Penn State, her career brought her to the United States Postal Service, where in June 2012 she began working as an employment litigation attorney for the Pacific Area Law Office in San Diego, California. Her engagement and the marriage that followed brought her back to the East Coast, where she transferred to an attorney position in the Ethics Office at the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Bonanno believes that her time as a liberal arts student has helped her do the best that she can within her positions with the U.S. Postal Service, citing how the University’s use of technology has been a trending theme with the work she is doing now.

“During my time at Penn State, I was most impressed with Penn State’s use of technology, innovation and resources,” she said. “In my current position, we are working on several innovative projects utilizing the latest technology designed to increase efficiency, streamline processes, and ensure compliance with various statutes and regulations.”

In May 2016, Bonanno was appointed chief counsel for federal compliance, where she has worked to implement new and exciting ways to engage the audience in compliance training, helped form a cross-functional ethics committee that analyzes data in order to create optimal training courses, and saved the U.S. Postal Service a lot of money through a proposed automation service through the Freedom of Information Act.

Since becoming the associate general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer, a role she has served in since June 2018, Bonanno has been responsible for working with different programs and regulations within the Postal Service such as ethics, privacy, compliance, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

As she continues her work within these new roles, Bonanno said she recognizes the continued importance of a government program like the Postal Service, especially while living in the uncertainty created by COVID-19. With so much of the United States being forced to change during the pandemic, she believes that the Postal Service has continued to be extremely vital for all Americans. 

“For more than 245 years, the United States Postal Service has bound the nation together by providing affordable, reliable mail and package services to every address in the United States,” Bonanno said. “This universal service has proven to be most essential during this pandemic. It is an honor to be a part of this legacy and serve our essential workforce.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 07, 2020