Meagher to be Veterans Affairs CTO

Ed Meagher has been named chief technology officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Meagher, who is the VA's deputy chief information officer, will fill a position that has been vacant since September 2003, according to an e-mail message from CIO Robert McFarland to VA employees.

“With the upcoming information technology organizational realignment and centralization of the IT budget,” McFarland wrote, “it had become imperative to find a seasoned CTO who could assist with the complexity of standing up a new organization and continue to provide the technical assistance to the CIO that would secure solutions to the many challenges that affect the VA IT infrastructure.”

He said the VA wanted to fill the position with a person who had technical skills and an institutional knowledge of the agency. He said Meagher recognized the need and volunteered to tackle the challenges facing the Office of Information and Technology.

McFarland has ordered a top-to-bottom reorganization of the VA’s IT office following several consultants’ reports about how best to deliver services to veterans.

The VA recently gave the CIO spending authority over the agency’s $1.2 billion IT budget. Previously, the CIO had direct authority over only about $50 million a year in IT spending.

McFarland wrote in his e-mail message that Meagher will play an important role in his new post. VA Secretary R. James Nicholson must approve his appointment.

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