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Obama nominates deputies for VA, Navy

Jo Ann Rooney

Jo Ann Rooney is the president's nominee for Navy undersecretary.

President Barack Obama on Sept. 10 announced nominations for high-level positions in the departments of Veterans Affairs and Navy, potentially filling roles that have been vacant since spring.

At the Defense Department, Obama nominated Jo Ann Rooney as Navy undersecretary. Rooney serves managing director at the Huron Consulting Group in Chicago, a position she has held since 2012.

In 2011 and 2012, Rooney was the principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, where she oversaw military readiness and acted as the deputy senior policy advisor to the Defense Secretary on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for roughly 3.5 million military and civilian personnel. She also has a background in academia and the private sector, with a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania and law degrees from Boston University and Suffolk University, according to her DOD bio.

Rooney would replace Robert Work, who stepped down as Navy undersecretary in March after four years in the position.

Sloan Gibson

Sloan Gibson

At the VA, Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the United Services Organization, was nominated as deputy secretary at the VA. Gibson has been at the USO since 2008. Prior to that, he spent two decades in the banking industry, according to his USO bio. The 1975 West Point graduate earned both Airborne and Ranger qualifications and served as an Army infantry officer. Gibson is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Gibson would succeed Scott Gould, who resigned May 17 amid an exodus of top VA officials that included Chief of Staff John Gingrich, CIO Roger Baker and CTO Peter Levin. The departures came amid troubles at the VA, particularly related to its IT operations.

Both nominees face Senate confirmation.

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Reader comments

Wed, Feb 12, 2014

Too bad the President couldn't have found a REAL Vet to become the new VA Deputy Secretary. Sloan bailed out of the service at the first minute possible after getting his free West Point education and without ever bothering to hear a shot fired in anger. I guess it's easier for someone that's never been exposed to the real hardships of military service to maintain the VA's total indifference to the veterans they are supposed to be helping. Good choice Prez!

Sun, Sep 29, 2013

Too bad the VA can't fire every SES we have and start over. Lord knows there's not a good one in the bunch. And keeping Warren, even one more day, is just wrong seems wrong on so many levels. The VA is at its lowest time ever in terms of leadership, it's really time to start with the top and just start sending them home and telling them to never darken the doors of this institution again. We have a great mission, they can't get it done because they don't understand what we do. We are the best example ever of how grand-standers are useless.

Thu, Sep 12, 2013

VA needs leadership. I work in OI&T on Benefits Transformation. The SES in charge is an absentee leader who only gets involved when there is a chance to be visible. Otherwise he is absent. Everyone is tired of his stories about his time in the private sector. Time to show leadership in VA Chris Shorter.

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