Senate confirms new VA deputy secretary
(Eugene Russell/Veterans Affairs)

Senate confirms new VA deputy secretary

On Sept. 12, Army veteran Tanya Bradsher was confirmed by the Senate as VA’s deputy secretary. In this role, Deputy Secretary Bradsher will help lead the Department of Veterans Affairs as it continues to deliver more care and more benefits to more Veterans than ever before in the nation’s history.

Deputy Secretary Bradsher —who has been serving as VA’s chief of staff since March 2021 — is a fourth-generation veteran and Iraq combat veteran who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. She is now the first woman deputy secretary of VA, the highest-ranking woman in VA history, and the first woman of color to serve in the position.

As VA’s chief of staff since March 2021, now-Deputy Secretary Bradsher has helped lead VA through a historic expansion of veteran care and benefits. During that time, VA has implemented the PACT Act, which expanded care and benefits to millions of veterans and their survivors; expanded access to care for women veterans, the fastest growing cohort of veterans at VA; helped veterans through the pandemic by providing more than 332 million health care appointments; set all-time records for veteran benefits processed in 2021, 2022, and is on pace to set another record in 2023; consistently outperformed non-VA hospitals in health care ratings and veteran outcomes; exceeded its goal of housing more than 38,000 formerly homeless veterans in 2022 and is on pace to do so again in 2023; offered free health care to veterans in suicidal crisis at any VA or non-VA hospital; expanded caregiver support to veterans of all eras; and much more.

With this confirmation, VA now has a confirmed secretary, deputy secretary, under secretary for benefits, under secretary for health, and under secretary for memorial affairs for the first time since 2014.  

“As deputy secretary, I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that every veteran gets the world-class care and benefits they deserve,” Bradsher said. “This is the honor of a lifetime, and I am forever grateful to President Biden and Secretary McDonough for this opportunity to serve our nation’s heroes.”

Guy Kiyokawa, who had been serving as acting deputy secretary since March 1, will return to his previous role VA’s assistant secretary for enterprise integration. VA will name a new chief of staff in the near future.