Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Chief of Staff Pamela Powers assumed the new role of deputy undersecretary on April 2, two months after the firing of James Byrne.

Powers will perform the duties of deputy secretary while keeping her role as VA chief of staff “until further notice,” according to an April 7 press release.

“Pam has quarterbacked VA’s historic transformation for the better part of the last two years,” Secretary Robert Wilkie said. “Her deep experience and decisive leadership style will yield tremendous benefits for Veterans and the department during this important time.”

Before Byrne’s abrupt dismissal, he was a leader on the agency’s electronic health record modernization project. Powers will assume leadership of the project, which has been delayed as the agency mitigates COVID-19 coronavirus concerns.

Powers has over thirty years of public sector service with the Air Force and Department of Defense. She became chief of staff at VA in 2018.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.