VA CIO Rob Thomas retiring from government

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The Department of Veterans Affairs’ acting CIO, Rob Thomas, will retire from government service in October.

Thomas took over as CIO and assistant secretary for information and technology in an acting capacity after LaVerne Council stepped down from the position in January at the change in administrations. Before that, Thomas served as deputy CIO at VA.

Rob Thomas

Scott Blackburn will take over as acting CIO effective this week, Thomas said in an email to VA staff announcing his departure. Secretary David Shulkin appointed Blackburn acting deputy secretary of the VA in February.

“We have made significant progress, and we are continuing to move in the right direction with our ongoing transformation and modernization efforts and by the steadfast leadership of Secretary Shulkin on behalf of our Nation’s 23 million Veterans,” Thomas wrote. “With this in mind, I am proud of what we have accomplished, and continue to accomplish together, and I hope you are as well.  From modernizing both our electronic health record and benefits delivery network  to our continuing effort to improve enterprise cybersecurity, VA’s scheduling systems and consolidating the financial management system, OI&T is committed to the Secretary’s initiatives to deliver better service to our Veterans.”

Thomas also spent time as deputy CIO and acting CIO at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and as a member of the Air Force. He is retiring with 35 years of federal service.

“Please know that it has been an honor, privilege, and pleasure to serve with you at OI&T,” he said. “This has been an enriching experience; serving our Nation’s Veterans, and equally important, having the opportunity to work side-by-side with outstanding public servants.”

Federal News Radio first reported Thomas’ departure.

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CIO, Department of Veterans Affairs, Rob Thomas, Scott Blackburn, VA