Secretary's Center for Strategic Partnerships (SCSP)
Deborah Lafer Scher, Executive Advisor to the Secretary
Deborah currently serves as the Executive Advisor to the Secretary, leading the Center for Strategic Partnerships in the US Department of Veteran Affairs. In this role, she leads a team that negotiates and executes partnerships with industry to bring significant external resources and expertise to benefit the VA’s highest priority programs for Veterans. She also provides guidance to the Secretary on public/private partnerships to enhance the organization's strategic mission. Current mission critical initiatives include driving best in class oncology care, suicide prevention programs and increasing the accessibility, capacity and quality of healthcare by expanding telehealth/virtual care services for Veterans and Caregivers.
Prior to joining the VA, Deborah built successful businesses in multiple healthcare sectors including senior care, academic medical centers, wellness, healthcare information and physician offices, serving as the organization’s chief operating officer (COO), chief strategy officer (CSO), lead acquisitions executive and chief administrative officer (CAO). Her career includes positions at Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dun & Bradstreet, CareOne, Walsh International and Warburg Pincus. Her work has included improving operations to accelerate growth and increase value in the private equity sale of a wellness company, launching successful new service lines and turning around a forecasted operating loss at Weill Cornell, successful growth and sale of a venture backed prescription database competitor to IMS Health and building a network of relationships with senior leaders at 50+ health systems around innovation commercialization initiatives at Fitzroy Health. A quality driven leader, Deborah was selected to serve as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner, evaluating US companies for performance excellence.
Deborah has an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Sociology from Haverford College. Deborah has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Haverford College and President of its Alumni Association. She currently serves on the Board of Seeds of Peace and is an advisor to Venture for America. She recently finished terms on the Rice University and Washington University of St. Louis Parents Councils.