The White House announced July 27 that President Donald Trump intends to nominate James Paul Gfrerer to be assistant secretary for information technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a role that also serves as the agency chief information officer.

Gfrerer most recently worked as executive director in Ernst and Young’s cybersecurity practice and, prior to that, served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Department of Defense detailee to the Department of State for leading interagency counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

The agency has not had a permanent CIO since the departure of LaVerne Council, who left with the Trump presidential transition. Since then, the agency has had a spate of acting CIOs.

Rob Thomas headed the agency’s IT from January 2017 to October 2017, when he retired from government service. Scott Blackburn then took over the role, before abruptly resigning via Twitter in April 2018.


Camilo Sandoval has since served as the acting CIO but has faced scandal over allegations of harassment while he worked for the Trump campaign.

The VA has one of the few CIO positions in need of Senate confirmation, and this nomination comes just days after the Senate confirmed Robert Wilke to lead the agency.