Veterans Affairs Formally Appoints New Deputy CIO

Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Information Officer LaVerne Council announced Monday that Susan McHugh-Polley, the official who led the development of the VA’s enterprise cybersecurity strategy, is now the permanent deputy assistant secretary for Service, Delivery, and Engineering.

McHugh-Polley had served as the executive director for field operations since 2014 under Art Gonzalez, who stepped down from his post in the Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) in March. She then took over for Gonzalez on an acting basis.

“Susan has been a key voice in guiding service delivery’s role in the OI&T transformation,” Council wrote in an email to VA staff obtained by MeriTalk. “She knows firsthand how crucial SDE is to our success as an organization, and has the vision, initiative, and creativity to set her employees up for success. Her background and expertise in operations are as varied as the team she will lead, and I believe she has the ideal perspective and qualifications to oversee OI&T’s service delivery.”

Last year, Council tasked McHugh-Polley to lead a group of senior executives in the creation of OI&T’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Strategy, an aggressive effort to map out VA’s approach to information security. The group managed to deliver the strategy to Congress one day ahead of the deadline set by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

McHugh-Polley previously held leadership positions at the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where she led numerous programs targeted toward centralizing technology operations and developing telecommunications and information assurance functions.

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