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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


VA forms search commission to locate candidates for the Under Secretary for Health

Oct. 4, 2018, 02:46:00 PM

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VA forms search commission to locate candidates for the Under Secretary for Health

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Oct. 1 established a search commission, who will help identify candidates for the Under Secretary for Health position, which oversees the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

VA has identified individuals who possess the expertise and willingness to serve on this important commission, with experience that is broad, relevant and consistent with the requirements established by law. 

The following individuals were appointed to serve as members of the commission to identify the best qualified candidates to serve as VA’s Under Secretary for Health:

  • Jim Byrne, VA acting deputy secretary
  • Anthony Principi, chairman of the search commission as designated by the VA Secretary
  • Dr. Don Wright, deputy assistant secretary for Health, Director Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. James Adams, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Northwestern University
  • Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense Health Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Sarah Verardo, executive director, Independence Fund
  • Garry Augustine, executive director, Disabled American Veterans
  • Dr. Jonathan Simons, president and CEO, Prostate Cancer Foundation
  • Dr. Jon Perlin, chairman of the Special Medical Advisory Group. 

“We are committed to selecting the best nominee to lead America’s largest integrated health care system,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This commission has a significant mission and I am confident they will use all their collective talents to make a strong recommendation.” 

Candidates for the Under Secretary for Health position must demonstrate the knowledge, vision and dedication to lead VHA in strategic change efforts to realize President Trump’s vision of transforming VA. By law, the appointment is made without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability in the medical profession, health care administration and policy formulation, or in health care fiscal management; and substantial experience in connection with VHA programs or programs of similar content and scope.

With an annual budget of about $74 billion, VHA provides care to more than 9 million Veterans enrolled in VA health care programs at 1,243 facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,062 outpatient sites of varying complexity. VHA is the nation's largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research.

Completed applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on the closing date of Oct. 17, 2018, to be considered. Interested applicants can apply online at the federal government’s USAJOBS website at Applications can also be emailed to


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