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."
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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.
First published June 29 2014, 1:42 PM
Tony Dokoupil is a senior writer for NBC News and the host of "Greenhouse," a new MSNBC show about the life and much-predicted death of our old familiar globe.
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He joined NBC News in September of 2013 and contributes scripts and features to NBCNews.com, along with reporting across NBC platforms, including the Today Show and Nightly News.
He's also the author of "The Last Pirate," a book about his father and the pre-legal world of smuggled marijuana. The New York Times called it, "a probing, exuberant memoir" and People Magazine said the story "will fill you with hope."
Dokoupil joined NBCNews.com from The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, where he was a senior writer. In that role, he was a host of BeastTV and he wrote numerous cover stories, including "The Suicide Epidemic," "iCrazy" and "Dustoff 73." His story "The Last Dive" and the original video became Newsweek's first video cover.
He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his family.