On March 4, 1988, the charter for the Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award® was signed. The objectives and duties of a Federal Advisory Board were to make suggestions for the improvement of the award process and an annual report to the NBS Director with recommendations for improvement. The first board included quality experts, business and industry leaders, and labor and public policy experts: Meredith Fernstrom of American Express Company, Armand Feigenbaum of General Systems Company, Douglas Fraser of the United Auto Workers, Bradley Gale of the PIMS/Strategic Planning Institute, David Garvin of Harvard Business School, Joseph Juran of the Juran Institute, Thomas Murrin of Westinghouse, Lionel Olmer of the Department of Commerce (international trade), and Elmer Staats (the former Comptroller General of the United States) of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
In support of the new Baldrige Award, Juran wrote,
Our loss of quality leadership has already cost us [the United States] millions of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in trade balances. To get out of this crisis, we must create our own quality revolution. It would be useful to our economy to establish a prize which would earn national recognition as evidence of high attainment in quality.