2018 Government Innovation Awards

Rising Star: Sunil Sadasivan

Senior Engineering Lead, Nava Public Benefit Corporation

Sunil Sadasivan 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a backlog of almost half a million appeals by veterans seeking disability benefits, and that number is growing. On average, those appeals take about five years to resolve.

Sunil Sadasivan is using technology to cut the backlog and the average resolution time as a member of Nava’s Caseflow team, which seeks to modernize the services and tools at regional VA offices and give veterans more visibility into how the appeals process works.

The Caseflow engineering team crosses public and private lines to include engineers from Nava, other contractors and the U.S. Digital Service. Sadasivan works with all stakeholders to make sure the solutions remain focused on veterans, team members stay on target and feedback is incorporated.

His combination of management skills and technical proficiency are helping to streamline the appeals process for veterans.

His focus on team motivation “changed attitudes and improved overall team collaboration — a difficult yet crucial aspect of working on a team with people from different contractors,” said Alicia Liu, Nava’s vice president of engineering.

Sadasivan tackles some of the most challenging engineering tasks himself, fixing bugs and scaling up so engineers aren’t pulled away from tasks they’re already working on.

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