Retired Brig. Gen. Allison A. Hickey assumed the duties of Under Secretary for Benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on June 6, 2011.
As Under Secretary for Benefits, Hickey leads more than 20,000 employees in the delivery of a wide range of integrated programs of non-medical benefits and services to Veterans, their dependents and survivors. Through a nationwide network of 56 regional offices, special processing centers, and VBA Headquarters, she directs the administration of VA's disability compensation, pension, education, home loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and life insurance programs, and an annual budget of $76.3billion.
Prior to her appointment, Hickey led Human Capital Management for the consulting company Accenture in their work for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency – supporting operational business processes for intelligence community organizations in the areas of customer relationship management, call center practices and 21st Century information technology systems.
As the Director of the Air Force's Future Total Force office at the Pentagon, she provided leadership and oversight for four divisions in the areas of strategic planning, mission development, public and congressional affairs and program and resource implementation for more than 140 new Air Force units. Hickey was responsible for shifting billions of dollars towards new capabilities across the Air Force portfolio and directing new organizational models for a world-wide 500,000 person organization including active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units and personnel to create a common Air Force policy, mission, and culture – known in the Department as the Total Force Perspective.
Prior to that assignment, Hickey served as the assistant deputy director of Strategic Planning, where she provided leadership and oversight for five divisions. She also served as chief of the Air Force Future Concepts and Transformation Division focused on the integration of technologies, organizations and concepts of operation to model for the Air Force of 2025.
Hickey is a 27-year Veteran of the Air Force having served on active duty, in the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserves. Her Air Force career began in 1980 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy's first class to include women. As a pilot and aircraft commander, she accumulated more than 1,500 hours of flight time in KC-10A, KC-135A, T-38 and T-37 aircraft. She is the daughter of retired Lt. Gen. William J. Hilsman, a Vietnam Army Veteran, and Jean Hilsman, who served as a director and past-president of the National Military Family Association and as the first Department of Defense Family Policy Office director.
Hickey is married to retired Col. Robert Hickey, a 30-year Veteran and former A-10 and C-130 pilot. She and her husband have three children.