The White House on Monday will nominate former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald secretary of Veterans Affairs, according to a senior official. McDonald would succeed Eric Shinseki, a retired four-star general who resigned last month amid explosive charges of mismanagement, falsification of records and systemic problems at veterans health facilities.
House Speaker John Boehner praised McDonald in a statement Sunday, calling him "a good man" and "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."
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders was more cautious, saying he looked forward to McDonald's thoughts on how to help the VA meet a soaring demand for care. "The VA needs significantly improved transparency and accountability and it needs an increased number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff so that all eligible veterans get high-quality health care in a timely manner," Sanders said.
McDonald, 61, retired from Procter & Gamble last June, ending a 33-year career that began with entry level position in brand marketing, and ended with him in charge of 120,000 employees in 180 countries. Described by his colleagues as a "master at complex operations," the White House said, McDonald is also a West Point graduate and decorated former Army Captain. His father fought in World War II, and his Uncle, a Vietnam veteran, still receives care through the VA.