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VA Puget Sound new deputy executive director brings more than 30 years of leadership and expertise

Photograph of Deputy Executive Director Susan Perez

The Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Perez as the new deputy executive director of VA Puget Sound Health Care System.

“We are excited to bring Ms. Perez on board as our new deputy executive director of VA Puget Sound Health Care System,” said Dr. Thomas Bundt, VA Puget Sound’s executive director.  “Her sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets for our health care system, our employees and volunteers, and most importantly, for the more than 155,000 enrolled Veterans we are honored to serve.

“Her broad background and vast experience in project management, cyber workforce management, health IT and cybersecurity in combination with her ability to integrate teams across the Veterans Health Administration enterprise makes her uniquely qualified to drive progress toward the VA Puget Sound’s goals,” added Bundt.

Perez has 32 years of progressive experience in Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Benefits Administration, to including serving as the interim deputy executive director at the VA Puget Sound since March 2023. Prior to joining VA Puget Sound, Perez was executive director of strategy and program integration, Veterans Health Administration clinical services, where she provided leadership and served as senior advisor to the Veterans Integrated Networks 20 and 10 directors and was responsible for advising on all matters pertaining to VA’s electronic health record. During that time, she established comprehensive strategies and policies to improve transparency and accountability and to safeguard the delivery and implementation of a new electronic health record that VA is implementing for Veterans and their families.

Perez’s various leadership roles included serving as the executive director and acting deputy functional champion for VHA Electronic Health Record Modernization Program, where she helped support issue mitigations associated with the initial deployment of VA’s $10 billion electronic health record implementation. Additionally, she helped shape security requirements for the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 initiative (a common identification card for all federal employees and contractors), has worked with the VA chief technology officer to modernize technologies to deliver benefits and health care to Veterans, and as the OIT Office of Information security chief of staff, safeguarded communications for VA’s 400,000 employees. Among her many contributions while at VBA, Susan led the Automate GI Bill Benefits/Chapter 33 project, which automated claims processing for Veterans’ Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit claims.

During the three years that she served as VA’s OIT executive-in-charge of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perez established the OIT CARES Act funding and approval processes, devised a new COVID unfunded requirements process, and facilitated the execution of over $2.15 billion budget. Her efforts enabled employees and contractors working in the second largest agency in the Federal Government to seamlessly transition to telework and telehealth without difficulty. For her efforts and leadership in guiding OIT’s COVID response, she received the prestigious Secretary of the VA Exceptional Service Award.

About VA Puget Sound:

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 155,000 enrolled Veterans across Western Washington with a primary care team at one of its care sites: two main campuses (American Lake and Seattle), seven outpatient clinics (Edmonds, Everett, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup and Silverdale) and two Community Resource & Referral Centers (Georgetown in Seattle and Renton). As the VA’s 4th largest research program, VA Puget Sound has research in virtually every major clinical department, including: TBI and multiple blast exposures; memory improvement and Alzheimer's Disease; PTSD and deployment health; Parkinson’s Disease; diabetes; cancer; substance abuse; lower limb prosthetics; genomics; and Health Services. Additionally, it has seven nationally recognized Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). For more information visit or call 800-329-8387.  For Veterans in Crisis, please use the Veterans Crisis line at 988 (press 1).