President Joe Biden on Wednesday named Tanya Bradsher to be the next deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, filling the role left vacant this month after the resignation of Donald Remy, who held the post for nearly two years.
If confirmed, Bradsher would be the first woman to permanently hold the No. 2 spot at the VA; Pamela Powers and longtime VA civil servant Dr. Carolyn Clancy served as acting deputy secretaries in 2020 and 2021.
A Bronze Star recipient who served in Iraq from 2008 to 2009, Bradsher served as a public affairs official on the National Security Council following her retirement from the Army in 2013.
She worked as chief of staff for Rep. Don Beyer, D-Virginia, following her stint at the NSC and held communications positions at the American Psychiatric Association and the Defense Health Agency before joining the White House as assistant director for the Office of Public Engagement, where she was responsible for Veteran, Wounded Warrior and Military Family Outreach.
She served as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security before being named as VA chief of staff -- a position in which she serves as senior adviser to VA Secretary Denis McDonough.
As deputy secretary, Bradsher would spearhead the VA's overhaul of its electronic health record program, a troubled $10 billion modernization project that has faced numerous delays and currently is undergoing intense scrutiny by Congress.
Members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee have introduced legislation that would require VA to modify the program or cancel it altogether.
VA officials are in scheduled contract negotiations with the program's developer, Oracle Cerner, with an expected decision on the program's future contract and rollout by May 16.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has not yet scheduled Bradsher's nomination hearing.
Currently, a hold has been placed on a vote for the VA's nominee for Under Secretary of Benefits, Joshua Jacobs, by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, over the VA's lack of response to an inquiry from Grassley over another VA employee's alleged ethics violations.
-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Military.com. Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime