Obama to tap Bob McDonald as VA secretary

President Barack Obama will nominate Bob McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, as the next secretary of Veterans Affairs, according to an announcement from the White House first reported by The Washington Post.

McDonald would replace Eric Shinseki, who resigned last month, as head of the massive agency currently facing controversy over inadequate care, including appointment delays and waiting lists that were hidden by administrators. Investigators are currently looking into a number of cases in which veterans died while waiting for care.

McDonald’s nomination is seen as a departure from the previous VA secretaries. Shinseki is a retired four-star Army general, and while McDonald is a West Point graduate, he’s seen as a corporate-minded outsider.   

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the nomination in statement, saying, “Bob McDonald is a good man, a veteran, and a strong leader with decades of experience in the private sector. With those traits, he’s the kind of person who is capable of implementing the kind of dramatic systemic change that is badly needed and long overdue at the VA.”

The VA has more than 300,000 full-time employees and a $154 billion annual budget. More than 8 million veterans receive care at the VA each year.