Ex-Proctor & Gamble Exec Tapped to Lead VA

Robert McDonald graduated near top of class at West Point
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2014 3:35 PM CDT
Obama Picks Former Exec to Lead VA
Procter & Gamble chief executive Robert A. McDonald speaks at the companies annual shareholders meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

President Obama plans to nominate former Proctor & Gamble executive Robert McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, as the White House seeks to shore up an agency beset by treatment delays and struggling to deal with an influx of new veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An administration official said Obama would announce McDonald's appointment tomorrow. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald would succeed Eric Shinseki, the retired four-star general who resigned last month as the scope of the issues at veterans' hospitals became apparent.

In tapping McDonald for the post, Obama is signaling his desire to install a VA chief with broad management experience. McDonald also has a military background, graduating near the top of his class at the US Military Academy at West Point and serving as a captain in the Army, primarily in the 82nd Airborne Division. The move comes after reports of patients dying while waiting for appointments and of treatment delays in VA facilities nationwide. On Friday, a top Obama adviser and the acting VA secretary delivered a scathing report to the president, citing "significant and chronic system failures" in the nation's health system. Click for more. (More Department of Veterans Affairs stories.)

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