Military Connection: Likely Nominee for VA Head: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

Bob McDonald

After Eric Shinseki resigned as secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on May 30, the Obama administration has been looking for another strong leader to head the VA. Former USO head Sloan Gibson has been interim secretary for the past month. Many speculators believed that Gibson could have been given the nomination to permanent secretary. But now, it has been reported that President Obama will nominate Robert McDonald.

McDonald is a West Point graduate and a Veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served for five years, reaching the rank of Captain (O-3). During his time spent in the Army, McDonald served in the 82nd Airborne Division, and completed his MBA at the University of Utah.

Upon separating from the Army in 1980, McDonald was hired by consumer industry giant Procter & Gamble (P&G). During his time with P&G, McDonald climbed the executive ladder and gained experience is numerous positions, among them brand manager for Tide, head of  laundry division for Canada and Asia, general manager of Philippines operations, and president of Japan operations and Global Fabric & Home Care. He ultimately became the Chief Executive Officer in 2010,  retiring on June 30, 2013.

Critics of the administration’s choice of McDonald for VA secretary may argue that McDonald’s retirement from P&G was not voluntary. But they should take into consideration thatin today’s cut-throat business world,  keeping the top spot in any company is not a forgone conclusion. The Obama administration was lucky to find a Veteran with so much experience.

After the official nomination, expected on June 30, 2014, McDonald will have to receive approval from Congress before he can assume his role as VA secretary. McDonald has been a steady Republican donor, so many speculate that he will be approved despite his inexperience with government administration.

So, a year to the day from his P&G resignation, Bob McDonald is expected to receive the official nomination from the White House for the VA secretary position. McDonald will have his work cut out for him, as the turmoil from the VA scandal is still lingering. McDonald will be expected to produce significantly improved wait times and expedience of care within the VA healthcare system.

For the sake of our Veterans and their families, we at Military Connection hope that McDonald will be successful.

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Military Connection: Likely Nominee for VA Head: By Debbie Gregory