WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced June 30 that his nominee for secretary of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs is Bob McDonald, a West Point graduate who served as chief executive of Procter & Gamble.
The president said his administration was seeking to establish a “new culture of accountability” within the VA, praising McDonald as a man of integrity and calling him “an expert in making organizations better.”
McDonald must still be confirmed by the Senate.
The news of the nomination came just days after a scathing White House review found that the VHA needs to be “restructured and reformed.”
“The VHA leadership structure is marked by a lack of responsiveness and an inability to effectively manage or communicate to employees or veterans,” noted the review, which focused on access to care at the VA.
The review, which came several weeks after a VA inspector general’s report confirmed problems regarding access to care, was overseen by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors.
The review, which was presented to Obama, noted that “a corrosive culture has led to personnel problems across the department that are seriously impacting morale and, by extension, the timeliness of healthcare.”
Nabors further pointed out in the report that the VHA leadership team is “not prepared to deliver effective day-to-day management or crisis management,” and that the belief is widespread that “many issues raised by the public, the VA leadership, or oversight entities are exaggerated, unimportant, or ‘will pass.’”