June 6, 2011
General Allison A. Hickey Sworn In as Under Secretary for Benefits
WASHINGTON – Retired Brig. Gen. Allison A. Hickey, a 27-year Veteran of the United States Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserves and a graduate of the first U.S. Air Force Academy class to include women, has been sworn in as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Under Secretary for Benefits.
“General Hickey is a proven leader with deep experience and passion, who is dedicated to the welfare of Veterans, their families and survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “With her extensive knowledge, insight, and commitment, I am confident we will achieve the bold and comprehensive changes that will continue the transformation of the Veterans Benefits Administration into a 21st century organization.”
As Under Secretary, Hickey is responsible for a $72.3 billion budget and benefit programs that include compensation and pension benefits for more than four million veterans and survivors, education programs including the Post 9/11 GI Bill, home loan guaranties, vocational rehabilitation and employment services, and one of the nation’s largest life insurance programs.
Hickey, a pilot and aircraft commander, has 17 years of leadership in Department of Defense (DoD) strategic and transformation planning, program and resource implementation, public and congressional affairs, and quality and organizational management.
She served as head of the Air Force’s Future Total Force office, and as Assistant Deputy Director of Air Force Strategic Planning, leading one of the largest mission and culture change efforts the Air Force has gone through since its inception.
Additionally, Hickey held the position of Air Force Future Concepts and Transformation Division Chief, focused on the integration of technologies, organizations, and operations that became the model for the Air Force of 2025.
She also brings private industry experience, leading human capital management as an executive for Accenture in their work for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and supported operational business processes for other intelligence community organizations in the areas of customer relationship management, call center practices, and other 21st century information technology systems.
“As a recently separated Veteran, I have firsthand experience with the transition processes that thousands of Veterans and their families experience every day,” said Hickey. “I also have personal knowledge of the issues and sacrifices made by military families – including those of our National Guard and Reserve. I am excited to be part of the VA team focused on serving Veterans.”
In addition to her own military service, Hickey is part of a proud military family. She is the daughter of a career Army Officer and Vietnam Veteran, Lt. Gen. William J. Hilsman (Ret.). Her mother, Jean Hilsman, a military mother and spouse, 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 also the spouse of Col. Rob Hickey (Ret.), a 30-year active duty Veteran, Guard and Reservist and a current federal government civilian employee. Hickey and her husband have three children.
Hickey replaced Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Michael Walcoff, who has served with distinction throughout the Veterans Benefits Administration including positions as Deputy Under Secretary, Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations, Deputy Area Director, and Regional Office Director.
For more information about VA and the Veterans Benefits Administration, go to www.va.gov.
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