Trump nominates Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to lead VA

Kaylah Jackson
May 18, 2018 - 12:43 pm

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Dallas Johnson)

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President Trump has announced he's nominating Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to lead the VA.

He announced the nomination at the start of the Prison Reform Summit at the White House, Friday.

“Acting Secretary Wilkie, who by the way has done an incredible job at the VA. I’ll be informing him in a little while—he doesn’t know this yet—that we’re going to be putting his name up for nomination to be secretary of the veteran administration,” said Trump at the beginning of a speech at the summit. 

Wilkie was previously the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, but has been serving as the VA's acting secretary since Trump fired David Shulkin in late March.

With the announcement, some in office have already begun offering their good graces for Wilkie.

“As acting secretary of the VA, I’ve enjoyed my time getting to know Robert Wilkie and working alongside him to advance community care legislation through Congress,” said Senator Johnny Isakson, (R-Ga.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “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, Isakson continues.

Once a former aide to Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), he's worked as vice president for strategic initiatives at CH2M Hill, an engineering consulting firm in DC from 2010-2015 and was the assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs during former president Bush's second term.

A native of Fayetteville, N.C, Wilkie is also an officer in the Air Force Reserve, assigned to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg.

Before joining the Air Force, he served in the U.S. Navy Reserve with Joint Forces Intelligence Command, Naval Special Warfare Group Two and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

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