Peter O’Rourke, senior adviser to the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been appointed as a senior adviser and the executive director of the newly established office of accountability and whistleblower protection within the VA.
VA said Friday that O’Rourke will bring more than a decade’s worth of leadership experience to aid the department secretary on the use of available authorities to discipline personnel who have failed to carry out their respective duties on behalf of veterans.
He will help determine potential statutory barriers to the VA secretary’s authority to impose disciplinary actions against staff members who have jeopardized the safety of veterans.
The new executive director will also collaborate with various VA components to address veterans’ complaints regarding wrongdoings at the department and help conduct investigations to protect employees who disclose wrongdoings against potential retaliation.
“We need to hold our employees accountable for their actions if they violate the public trust, and at the same time protect whistleblowers from retaliation,” said David Shulkin, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
O’Rourke has held various leadership roles with Calibre Systems, the Association of the U.S. Army, Blackland Aerospace, Strong America Now, Accenture, George Group Consulting, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a master’s degree in logistics, materials and supply chain management from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology.