WASHINGTON — More Department of Veterans Affairs key appointments are filled.
Matthew Quinn, under secretary for Memorial Affairs, National Cemetry Administration – Quinn leads 155 VA national cemeteries and 119 VA grant funded state and tribal Veteran cemeteries in providing a dignified burial in national shrines for Veterans and eligible family members. His responsibilities include maintaining the cemeteries as national shrines; design and construction activities related to the establishment of new national cemeteries; overseeing memorial programs to honor the service of Veterans, including the provision of headstones, markers, medallions and Presidential Memorial Certificates; and administering federal grants to help states, territories and tribal governments establish Veterans cemeteries.
Maryanne Donaghy, assistant secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower Protection – Donaghy heads the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection established under the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017. She served as a senior advisor for the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware working on policy and programming involving Veterans and military families, and support for victims of gender-based violence. Donaghy is also a certified public accountant, has practiced law in Pennsylvania and Delaware and has taught accounting, law and criminal justice courses at the University of Delaware. During her tenure as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Delaware, she focused on white collar fraud. Since leaving the Department of Justice, Donaghy has counseled numerous organizations involving investigations and building effective compliance programs, including in Title IX implementation, health care compliance and public education.
Gina Grosso, assistant secretary for Human Resources and Administration/ Operations, Security and Preparedness – Grosso leads development and oversight of human capital strategies, policies and practices while managing the Department’s preparedness, law enforcement and security capabilities for the nearly 400,000 VA employees, including 6,000 human resources professionals and 4,000 law enforcement professionals nationwide. The breadth of her portfolio includes: Administration, Human Capital, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Labor-Management Relations, Personnel Security and Suitability, Senior Executive Management, Employee Development, Resolution Management, Emergency Management Response and Recovery, and Security and Law Enforcement Policy. As vice president for Air Force Programs with Golden Key Group, Grosso assisted federal and commercial clients with solving today’s strategic, organizational and operational challenges. She served 32 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant General.
Patricia Ross, assistant secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs – Ross manages the Office for Congressional and Legislative Affairs and serves as the principal advisor to the secretary, deputy secretary, under secretaries and assistant secretaries on all matters involving congressional and legislative affairs and its impact on the department. She facilitates and oversees coordinating the VA’s activities with members of Congress and committees of jurisdiction as well as maintaining responsive and effective communications with legislators. She sereved nearly decade as a senior policy advisor for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Her broad domestic policy portfolio includes Veterans’ affairs and military families, agriculture and nutrition, education and labor. Ross is the partner, granddaughter, niece and daughter of Veterans.
Richard Sauber, General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel – Sauber oversees and coordinates the work of Office of the General Counsel which provides legal services in areas encompassing all of VA’s Veterans programs, personnel, torts and general law subject matters. Sauber served as a partner at the Robbins, Russell law firm and as a federal prosecutor. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to form and lead the first multi-agency task force to concentrate on pursuing fraud in government contracts.
Adam Farina, chief speechwriter, Office of the Secretary – Farina served as associate communications director and speechwriter at Everytown for Gun Safety where he helped lead the organization’s federal and opposition communications and told the stories of survivors of gun violence. He served as deputy communications director and speechwriter for Congressman Seth Moulton. Farina has also written surrogate speeches for the Biden-Harris campaign and worked with New Politics to help military Veterans run for office.
Saif Khan, special assistant, Office of General Counsel – Khan previously served as attorney advisor at the Board of Veterans Appeals. He is founder and former president of the Veteran-led-non-profit American Veterans Committee and also serves as vice president of the World Veterans Federation. Khan managed a consulting firm and helped launch the non-profit organization, Mission: Readiness, post-deployment. He serves on the DC Mayor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Board and as president of the Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Veterans’ Council. Khan is a U.S Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom combat Veteran.
Christopher Villatoro, special assistant, Office of Enterprise Integration – Since January, Villatoro has served as the COVID response coordinator, focused on the department’s strategic planning on COVID-19 matters; aided in developing strategies/technical approaches to combat the virus; and worked alongside federal partners, including the White House, to coordinate efforts across the federal government. Villatoro served more than 14 years of combined federal service in both the U.S. Marine Corps and VA. While in the Marine Corps, he served in different capacities around the world and afterwards continued to serve at VA in multiple roles in support of Veteran health care operations.
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