• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
4m

Obama to nominate former Procter & Gamble head as VA secretary

By Jake Miller / CBS News 4:10 PM June 29, 2014

President Obama will nominate Bob McDonald, the former chief executive of Procter & Gamble and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as the next secretary of veterans affairs on Monday, a senior White House official tells CBS News.

The selection of McDonald, a longtime businessman rather than a decorated general, doctor, or politician like other recent VA secretaries, could reflect the systemic problems plaguing the VA medical system, which has come under fire in recent months for mismanagement and treatment delays that have been linked to the deaths of dozens of veterans nationwide.

The official told CBS News that McDonald’s time atop Procter & Gamble “prepares him well for a huge agency with management challenges in servicing more than 8 million veterans a year.”

“At P&G he oversaw more than 120,000 employees, with operations around the world, selling products in more than 180 countries, in more than 2.5 million stores, reaching more than 5 billion customers,” the official said. “McDonald’s personal and professional history make him the perfect person to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs during this important time.”

Beyond McDonald’s career in business, the White House also emphasized his deep connections to the U.S. military, noting that he and many members of his family have worn the uniform.

“McDonald graduated from West Point in the top [two percent] of his class and served in the U.S. Army for five years, achieving the rank of Captain in the 82nd Airborne Division,” the official noted. “He is a significant supporter of the U.S. Military Academy, and is a Life Member of the U.S. Army Ranger Association and the 75th Ranger Regiment Association. He is also a member of the Association of Graduates of West Point.”

The intended nomination was first reported by the Washington Post.

On Friday, Rob Nabors, the aide tasked by the president with overseeing the White House review of the VA scandal, submitted a report decrying the “corrosive” management culture at the agency that led to “significant and chronic failures” in the provision of medical care to veterans.

The scandal was kicked off in April when it was reported that several veterans at the VA facility in Phoenix had died while awaiting care. It was later revealed that officials there were falsifying waiting lists to understate the amount of time some veterans had waited to receive care.

An internal audit by the VA completed in May also found roughly 1,700 veterans who were not on any wait list in the Phoenix facility, leaving them at risk of falling through the cracks of the scheduling process.

The outrage that attended the reports of misconduct and treatment delays at VA facilities eventually claimed the job of then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, a celebrated Army general who’d held that post since the beginning of the president’s administration.

Mr. Obama selected Shinseki’s deputy, Sloan Gibson, to serve as acting VA secretary while he continued looking for a permanent replacement.

Members of both parties in Congress have slammed the agency’s management failures, demanding accountability and new leadership. After the intended nomination of McDonald went public on Sunday, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said McDonald, if he’s confirmed by the Senate ” will inherit a Department of Veterans Affairs under a specter of corruption that may very well surpass anything in the history of American government.”

“In order to pave the way for serious and substantive reforms that will help VA to effectively deliver the care and benefits our veterans have earned, he’ll need to root out the culture of dishonesty and fraud that has taken hold within the department and is contributing to all of its most pressing challenges,” Miller said. “Quite simply, those who created the VA scandal will need to be purged from the system.”

“Personnel changes, however, won’t be enough,” Miller added. “The only way McDonald can set the department up for long term success is to take the opposite approach of some other VA senior leaders. That means focusing on solving problems instead of downplaying or hiding them, holding employees accountable for mismanagement and negligence that harms veterans, and understanding that taxpayer funded organizations such as VA have a responsibility to provide information to Congress and the public rather than stonewalling them.”

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Ryne Olson claims win in Copper Basin 300

    by Dave Goldman on Jan 16, 21:09

    If you follow trends, this was a no-brainer. In the past two years, Ryne Olson has taken third and second place at the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race. Like a blue chip, which grows slowly and consistently over time, this one found its highest point yet. Now you can call her a Copper Basin 300 champion. […]

  • Politics

    ‘It’s time to pull together’: Alaskans plan to attend Women’s March on Washington

    by Eric Ruble on Jan 16, 19:36

    The final preparations are underway for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Friday. However, a few hundred thousand people are expected to participate in a separate event happening the next day in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the Women’s March on Washington – according to its organizers – is to send a […]

  • News

    Red Cross volunteers install free smoke detectors for MLK Day

    by Shannon Ballard on Jan 16, 19:09

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day not only honors the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader, it also offers opportunities to translate his words into action. On Monday, that sense of volunteerism and community was felt in the South Park Estates trailer park off Arctic Boulevard. A group of about a dozen people with […]

  • News

    City says public can help snow-plowing operation go more smoothly

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jan 16, 18:58

    City crews will be working around the clock to get the latest snow plowed. Anchorage street maintenance director Alan Czajkowski said the plan is to continue to work to clear main roads and then get into local neighborhoods, possibly as early as Monday evening. Czajkowski said there are several things Anchorage residents can do to […]

  • Lifestyle

    Businesses cash in on winter snow storms

    by Heather Hintze on Jan 16, 18:37

    As the flakes kept falling Monday, there was no business like snow business. It was all hands on deck for Alaska Snow Removal (ASR) crews as the inches accumulated. Their first priority was plowing tarmacs at the airport, a job that hasn’t been plentiful the past few winters. “We’ve been sanding quite a bit throughout […]

  • News

    Woman killed in hit-and-run identified by family members

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 16, 18:37

    Family members have identified the woman killed in Saturday’s hit-and-run collision as Anchorage resident Ida Jackson. Anchorage police have not publicly confirmed the victim’s identity. They said in a Nixle alert that she was walking in the roadway along Elmore Road early Saturday morning when a Chevrolet Sonic struck her. She had died from her injuries […]

  • Politics

    Optimism, eagerness among Alaska’s newest legislators

    by Associated Press on Jan 16, 13:52

    Among Alaska’s newest legislators, there is optimism and an eagerness to get to work on addressing the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit. Rep.-elect George Rauscher of Sutton says he’s “pretty jazzed” about the legislative session opening Tuesday. Rauscher, who last year upset incumbent Rep. Jim Colver, a fellow Republican, says he anticipates legislators getting something accomplished […]

  • Lifestyle

    Can caffeine perk up heart health, too?

    by Amy Norton / Health Day / CBS on Jan 16, 13:48

    The caffeine in your morning cup of joe may do more than jolt you awake — it may also help dampen the type of inflammation that’s linked to heart disease risk factors, a new study suggests. Researchers found that an inflammatory mechanism was dialed up in certain older adults, but not others. When it was […]