Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Robert Wilkie was sworn in as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on July 30, 2018, by President Donald Trump. Sec. Wilkie still serves as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves and is a former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Before becoming a political appointee, Wilkie started his career in service as counsel to Senator Jesse Helms and Legislative Director to Representative David Funderburk. From 2003 to 2005, in the Bush administration, Wilkie was Special Assistant to the President for national security affairs and a Senior Director of the National Security Council, where he was a senior policy advisor to then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as well as her successor, Stephen Hadley. Wilkie developed strategic planning for the implementation of the Moscow Treaty, the Millennium Challenge Account, Iraqi Reconstruction and NATO Expansion. In 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates awarded him the Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian award of the Department.