On May 18, President Donald Trump announced his latest nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. The President moved to promote Robert Wilkie from his current role as acting secretary—which he has held since the firing of former Secretary David Shulkin in late March– to a permanent position leading the department.
In addition to Wilkie’s current role at the VA, he simultaneously holds the position of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Wilkie also has previously held senior roles at the Pentagon under the Obama and Bush administrations. Recently, he is reported to have played a leading role in the finalization of the VA’s $10 billion contract with Cerner Corporation to update the department’s electronic health records.
President Trump’s most recent nominee will now face a confirmation vote from the U.S. Senate, which may lead to increased scrutiny following the failed nomination of former White House physician, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson. He stepped away from his nomination following reports of distributing prescription medication to staff members and various complaints regarding his behavior in the workplace and on business trips.
In a statement, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senate Veteran Affairs Chairman, showed support for Wilkie’s nomination. Said Isakson, “I congratulate Undersecretary Wilkie on his nomination and look forward to learning more about his long-term views for the VA, including how he plans to implement the VA MISSION Act when it becomes law, as we work through the confirmation process.”
For further discussion on veterans’ health and sleep medicine, please contact AASM advocacy staff by phone at (630) 737-9700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.