Scott Blackburn — the acting executive in charge for the Office of Information and Technology, or chief information officer, at the Department of Veterans Affairs — announced his resignation from the agency April 17, 2018, via tweet.
In a letter posted to his Twitter account, Blackburn called his time at the agency the “honor of his professional life” and celebrated an overall increase in veteran trust for VA from 47 percent in 2015 to 69 percent today.
“From leading the MyVA transformation under Secretary McDonald to serving as interim deputy secretary and then acting CIO under Secretary Shulkin, everyone that knows me understands that I have given my heart and soul to VA, always ‘putting veterans first’ and living the ICARE values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence,” Blackburn wrote.
“My effort has always been about better caring for veterans regardless of presidential administration, Republican or Democrat — and I have been honored to serve alongside both in a bipartisan way. I want to thank Secretary McDonald and Secretary Shulkin for creating these tremendous opportunities.”
Blackburn has only served as acting CIO at the VA since October 2017, after VA CIO Rob Thomas retired from the post. Blackburn has worked at the VA since 2014.
Blackburn’s resignation also occurs in the midst of the VA’s ambitious transition to an interoperable electronic health record system with the Department of Defense, for which he was a central figure.
Blackburn did not specify his reason for leaving, but said that he would remain the agency’s “biggest cheerleader” and emphasized his faith that “veterans, veteran advocates, veteran service organizations and lawmakers will keep VA leadership in check and accountable.”
Blackburn tweeted that his next step will be to take time off for a few months, but didn’t elaborate on where he intends to work after that.
The VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour confirmed to Federal Times that Blackburn’s resignation was effective April 17, 2018, thanked Blackburn for his service and said that the “VA will be announcing his replacement shortly.”
Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.