President Donald Trump nominated James Paul Gfrerer as Department of Veterans Affairs assistant secretary for information and technology late Friday.
Currently, Gfrerer serves as an executive director with Ernst and Young, with a focus on cybersecurity. Prior to EY, he served in the Marine Corps for more than 20 years and was a Department of Defense Detailee to the Department of State.
Gfrerer led the program’s interagency portfolios in cybersecurity and counterterrorism for three years.
According to the organizational chart, Gfrerer would also serve as Chief Information Officer. If confirmed, it would give the agency its first permanent CIO since Laverne Council stepped down in March 2017.
Acting CIO Scott Blackburn stepped down in April 2018, and former Trump campaigner Camilo Sandoval has filled the role in the interim. Sandoval has been surrounded by negative reports, including that he conspired to have former VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, fired.
The VA recently launched its Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization led by Deputy National Coordinator Genevieve Morris. Morris will work closely with the VA CIO on the $16 billion Cerner EHR project to replace the agency’s legacy EHR.
Last week, Robert Wilkie was confirmed as the new VA Secretary and will be sworn in on Monday. Wilkie said the EHR project will be a top priority of his office, which is expected to go-live by 2020 in the Pacific Northwest.
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