Bush to nominate VA assistant secretary

The White House has announced that President Bush intends to nominate Robert Howard as assistant secretary for information and technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Howard, a retired Army major general, is senior adviser to VA Deputy Secretary Gordon Mansfield, and supervisor of the VA Office of Information and Technology.

In May, Howard was chosen to lead the office. He had joined the VA a year earlier.

The nomination follows recommendations from Capitol Hill that the department elevate its information technology director to assistant secretary after the theft of a VA laptop computer containing 26.5 million VA personal records. The move is one way to better coordinate and strengthen the VA's IT data and installations.

Howard previously was vice president and general manager of the Analysis and Learning Technologies Division at Cubic. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of the Army.

Howard has a bachelor's degree from Northeastern University and a master's degree from Texas A&M University.

The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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