Peter O’Rourke Named VA Acting Secretary in Series of Leadership Moves

Peter O’Rourke

Peter O’Rourke, chief of staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been appointed to serve as VA secretary on an acting basis.

He will replace Robert Wilkie, interim VA secretary who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the department, VA said Wednesday.

Wilkie will return to the Defense Department to continue his role as defense undersecretary for personnel and readiness.

O’Rourke previously served as executive director for VA’s office of accountability and whistleblower protection and senior adviser to the VA secretary.

He held leadership roles at Calibre Systems, Blackland Group and Accenture and served as executive board member of the Association of the U.S. Army.

He served in the U.S. Air Force as a logistics readiness officer and as an enlisted airman in the U.S. Navy.

VA announced that Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, deputy chief of staff, will take over as acting chief of staff.

Thomas Bowman will retire on June 15 as VA’s deputy secretary but will continue to serve as an expert consultant to the department’s interim secretary, VA added.

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