Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Thomas J. Murphy
Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Veterans Benefits Administration
Thomas J. Murphy, served as Director of the Northeast District, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), in St. Louis, Missouri, and was designated as Acting Under Secretary for Benefits effective January 20, 2021. In this role, he leads more than 25,000 VBA employees in the delivery of non-medical benefits programs. VBA provides disability compensation benefits to nearly 6 million veterans and their survivors and administers pension benefits for approximately over 350,000 veterans and their survivors. Through a nationwide network of 56 regional offices, special processing centers and VBA Headquarters, he oversees the execution of nearly $135 billion in direct benefits to Veterans and their dependents.
As Northeast District Director, he was responsible for overseeing the delivery of non-medical benefits programs, including compensation, pension, fiduciary, Veterans readiness and employment and home loan guaranty benefits by 20 regional offices serving a Veteran population of more than 7.6 million. He also provided oversight of VBA’s Records Management Center, which serves as a special processing center for VA and military record requests. Overall, he had operational oversight responsibility for over 6,400 employees.
Prior to his current position, he was Acting Under Secretary for Benefits and served as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits. Mr. Murphy previously served as the Director of Compensation Service where he was responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to the administration of VA disability and death compensation programs which paid $66.38 billion dollars in benefits in fiscal year 2015 to 4.5 million eligible Veterans and dependents. Before serving as Director of Compensation Service, Mr. Murphy served as the Director of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Regional Office and was responsible for administering VA benefits and services to over 151,000 Veterans and beneficiaries living in Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mr. Murphy joined the Veterans Benefits Administration from The Home Depot, where he was a Director of Merchandise Planning. In this position, he directed the merchandise planning of the hardware department in over 1,950 stores with over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Mr. Murphy was a Senior Tactical Planning Manager for Qwest Communications, responsible for common systems growth of the local telephone network in 5 western states. Earlier in his career, Mr. Murphy worked for ten years in the Department of Defense in a variety of positions, including Logistics Manager, Administrative Officer, Training Manager, Staffing Specialist, and Chief of Employee Services.
Mr. Murphy retired from the military as a Major after 15 years of service in the Colorado National Guard and 6 years of service with the Marine Corps Reserve. His military assignments included Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Battalion Operations Officer, Battery Commander and Battery Fire Direction Officer. Mr. Murphy and his wife reside in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
May 2018 – Present: Director, Northeast District
December 2016 – May 2018: Acting Under Secretary for Benefits
June 2016 – December 2016: Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits
February 2016 – June 2016: Acting Principal Deputy UnderSecretary for Benefits
July 2010 – February 2016: Director, Compensation Service
August 2009 – July 2010: Director, San Juan Regional Office
2001 – Masters of Business Administration, University of Colorado
1999 – Bachelor of Science, Human Resource Management, Colorado Christian University