House Oversight & VA Digital Modernization Virtual Event

House Oversight & VA Digital Modernization Virtual Event

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With IT transformation projects underway across major federal agencies, guidance from U.S. policymakers is of increasingly vital importance for the development of public-facing services. GovernmentCIO Media & Research has brought together the top-ranking members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and leadership from the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss the ongoing revolution in veterans care, and how the agency’s modernization efforts are poised to improve the lives of millions of Americans. Topics will include the VA’s modernization strategy, digital services, and how the agency has ensured continuity of care amidst COVID-19.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
8:30 - 10:45 a.m. EDT
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Video Replay

Hear from Chairman Mark Takano and Ranking Member Phil Roe of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs as they discuss the ongoing revolution in veterans care. Dominic Cussatt (VA) and Susan Perez (VA) spoke to GovernmentCIO's Tim Cox regarding how to strategize technology. Also, Paul Brubaker (VA), Drew Myklegard (VA) and Dr. Greg McDavitt (Salesforce) participated on the IT Modernization panel with moderator Megha Chokshi (GovernmentCIO). Maheen Mizra (Dell Technologies) provided industry perspective, while Luwanda Jones (VA), Barbara Morton (VA) and…

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Mr. Paul Brubaker is the Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) of the Account Management Office (AMO) in the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In this role, he is responsible for leading AMO in continuing to develop close relationships with the three VA administrations: the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA).

Previously, he served as the Development, Security, and Operations (DevSecOps) Transformation Executive for OIT. He supported the DevSecOps mission of improving customer experience and Veteran outcomes by enabling teams to deploy innovations, applications, and system upgrades more frequently and rapidly.

Prior to joining VA, Mr. Brubaker led the Alliance for Transportation Innovation, advocating for policies and programs to dramatically improve the safe, efficient, and sustainable movement of people and goods. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and as Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Brubaker’s industry experience includes executive positions at Cisco Systems, SI International, and Litton PRC. He has also served across the Federal government in positions at the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Transportation (USDOT), U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oversight, and for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (US GAO).

Mr. Brubaker is a recipient of the DoD Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Secretary’s Gold Medal from the USDOT, AFFIRM Federal IT Executive of the Year, and is a two-time Fed 100 winner.

Deputy CIO, Account Management Office, Veterans Affairs

As Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Technology (PDAS/IT), Mr. Cussatt oversees the entire IT Program for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a Fortune 10 sized agency servicing 22M US veterans with over $200B in annual budget and over 350,000 government staff. The VA IT program includes 24/7 IT operations spread across every US state and several overseas territories supporting 145 Hospitals and 1231 Outpatient Facilities (making VA the largest health care organization in the US), 56 Regional Benefits Offices, and 135 Veteran Cemeteries. He oversees VA's $4B annual IT budget and the activities of over 10,000 IT employees and contractors performing Account Management, Strategic Sourcing, IT Development and Operations, Information Security, IT Resource Management, Quality Assurance, and Performance and Risk Management. In his previous role as VA Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Mr. Cussatt oversaw the VA’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Program ensuring secure and reliable operation of VA’s IT infrastructure. Mr. Cussatt has over 25 years of public and private sector IT experience, and was with the US Department of Defence (DoD) CIO’s office for 12 years prior to VA. During his tenure as DoD Deputy CISO for Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, he was also the Director of the DoD International Cybersecurity Program. In 2014, he was selected by the 28 NATO nations as the National Co-Chair of the NATO Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Capability Panel, the sole source of cybersecurity policy for the NATO Alliance. He also served over 3 years as DoD Tri-Chair for the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Subcommittee, a national forum for US National Security System policy which published dozens of Federal cybersecurity policies under his tenure. Since 2007, Mr. Cussatt has been a member of the US Federal Government’s Joint Task Force Transformation Initiative, a US Civil/Defense/Intelligence partnership developing minimum Federal IT standards. The Initiative successfully unified the US Federal Government’s disparate cybersecurity standards by publishing 5 National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) special publications, including the NIST security control catalog and the NIST Risk Management Framework. He was twice awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD) Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service (in 2014 & 2016), the OSD’s highest level career medaled award.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for IT and Deputy CIO, OIT, Veterans Affairs

Luwanda F. Jones is responsible for providing executive level oversight and leadership for the development of plans and processes necessary to control, optimize and leverage the volume of acquisition actions associated with specific IT needs of the Department. She provides executive leadership and direction to a staff that is responsible for developing vendor relationships, facilities management, and implementing acquisition strategies and processes to ensure customer requirements are identified and implemented through the acquisition process; supporting OIT’s procurement actions valuing in over $4B annually. She is the Chief Information Officer’s Small Business Representative for all socioeconomic categories.

Deputy CIO, Office of Strategic Sourcing, Veterans Affairs

Dr. McDavitt is a physician combining 10+ years in healthcare with business finance, strategy, and operations. He has held roles within consulting, strategy, and management requiring balanced strengths in healthcare and business leadership. Dr. McDavitt has extensive experience in healthcare, research and data analysis, with education in business operations, strategy, and finance make me ideally suited for positions in healthcare consulting and policy, healthcare management, operations management and data analytics.

Director, Global Healthcare & Life Science, Salesforce

Susan McHugh-Polley serves as Senior Strategic Advisor for Public Sector at World Wide Technology (WWT).

In this role, she leverages her background and extensive Federal IT experience by joining teams and partners to explore and discover new business opportunities as well as solutions for customers.

By utilizing research and communications skills, she provides input, validates direction and processes, explores alternative solutions and assimilates key actions and products into concise, pertinent presentations to partners and executives.

Working with WWT’s employees, partners and customers, she can demonstrate leadership in producing actionable recommendations in a variety of areas, such as: portfolio management; customer relations; market selection; and risk management. McHugh-Polley’s experience allows her to help develop short-, mid-, and long-range goals for service and technology delivery as well as integrated operational planning.

McHugh-Polley retired from the Federal government after more than three decades of service, having most recently served in the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary, Information Technology Operations and Services, as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Susan McHugh-Polley has held a variety of management and executive leadership positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Her government career includes executive leadership in IT operations, development of short and long-term agency IT goals, implementation of new IT strategies over large and diverse operations, integration of change management for IT solutions, and international liaison with corporations and foreign government officials to enhance IT capabilities, partnerships and customer services. McHugh-Polley holds an M.B.A and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Senior Strategic Advisor, Public Sector, World Wide Technology

Maheen Mirza, Sales Director of Dell Federal, leads the team that is responsible for the full portfolio of Dell Technologies spanning across enterprise systems, client solutions, software, and services aimed at the U.S. federal healthcare customer. Maheen’s responsibilities include the go to market leadership for the segment, which includes Defense Health Agency, Department of Veteran Affairs, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration. Maheen relies on her extensive experience in the public sector space to lead her team’s efforts to provide our customer’s mission critical IT solutions with innovation.

Prior to her current role, Maheen served as the Sales Director for Dell’s 3rd party software business in support of Federal, State and Local government and Enterprise customers. Her responsibilities in this role included leadership for the sales and strategy of enterprise software across strategic software providers.

Maheen brings over a decade of management experience serving our government and military customers. Prior to Dell, Maheen spend 9 years at GTSI, a leading systems integrator in roles of ascending responsibilities in business development, partner management and sales. As Director, Strategic Partnerships, she was a key leader in driving change and leading GTSI through its transformation to a leading Systems Integrator serving the Public Sector market. Under her leadership, GTSI received industry recognition and awards from market leaders such as VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.

Maheen is active in the community and is the co-lead for the DC/VA Women in Action chapter for Dell Technologies. She also sits on the board of AFCEA Bethesda. Maheen graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration. She is active in the community and proponent of diversity in the workplace.

Director, Federal Healthcare, Dell Technologies
Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer, Veterans Affairs

Mr. David “Drew” Myklegard oversees VA’s Demand Management Division (DMD), which provides a consolidated set of enterprise-wide services that enables VA to capture business needs, architect, engineer, monitor performance, ensure program alignment, and provide cloud solutions in support of VA information technology (IT) modernization.

Under Mr. Myklegard’s leadership, DMD is the “gateway” for IT initiatives throughout the VA IT enterprise, helping VA improve solution delivery and provide better outcomes for our Veterans. Within DMD, his work also enables developers to build mobile and web apps using standards-based software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to serve Veterans.

Mr. Myklegard joined VA in October 2013 to lead Enterprise Solutions for the VA Center for Innovation (VACI). His team developed several web and mobile applications, including the on-demand telemedicine app CareNow, the enterprise-wide correspondence management app VIEWS, and a quality-control app to measure the speed and consistency of the claims process.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Myklegard was a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton’s Capability and Strategic Technology Innovation Center of Excellence, where he focused on health care technology architecture.

Mr. Myklegard is a currently serving in the U.S. Army Reserves as a military intelligence officer.

Executive Director, Demand Management, Veterans Affairs

Ms. Susan Perez brings her broad background and vast experience in government management, health IT, and cybersecurity to her current role integrating teams across the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) enterprise and driving progress toward VA’s IT modernization goals.

Ms. Perez began her distinguished twenty-six-year Federal career with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) New York City Regional Office, where she adjudicated and rated Veterans’ disability claims, and worked her way up to become the Director of VBA’s Data and Information Services in Washington, DC.

In 2008, Susan served as Director, Benefits Program Executive Office in VA’s Office of Information and Technology (OIT), where she oversaw the Automate GI Bill Benefits/Chapter 33 project, which automated claims processing for veterans’ Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit claims.

In March 2011, Susan became the Program Manager for VA’s Integrated Electronic Health Record Program to transform health care delivery for service members and Veterans through the sharing of key data and information with DOD.

From February 2012 to August 2014, Susan functioned as a Senior Advisor to define requirements for the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 initiative. Susan also worked closely with the VA Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Digital Services to modernize technologies in support of the delivery of VBA and VHA benefits to Veterans.

Susan also served as the Chief of Staff to the Office of Information Security providing confidential support and recommendations to the Chief Information Security Officer on critical issues and complex problems

Chief of Staff, OIT, Veterans Affairs

Phil Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee. A resident of Washington County serving his sixth term in Congress, Phil has a strong work ethic and is committed to working on behalf of the First District, Tennessee and our nation. 

A native of Tennessee, Phil was born on July 21, 1945 in Clarksville. He earned a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Austin Peay State University in 1967 and went on and to earn his Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee in 1970. Upon graduation, he served two years in the United States Army Medical Corps.

Congressman Roe is Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and chaired the committee in the 115th Congress. Additionally, he serves on the House Education and Labor Committee. Previously, he was a member of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans.

As a physician, Congressman Roe has become an active player in the effort to reform our nation’s health care system. He is the co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus and a co-chair of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus. Dr. Roe previously served as the chair of the Republican Study Committee’s Health Care Task Force for three congresses and helped write a patient-centered, free-market alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to serving in Congress, Phil served as the Mayor of Johnson City from 2007 to 2009 and Vice Mayor from 2003 to 2007. He ran a successful medical practice in Johnson City for 31 years, delivering close to 5,000 babies. Phil has three children - David C. Roe, John Roe, and Whitney Larkin - and is a proud grandfather. He and his wife Clarinda live in Jonesborough, and he is a member of Munsey United Methodist Church.

Ranking Member, House Committee on Veterans Affairs

For more than twenty years, Mark Takano has worked to improve the lives of Riverside County residents, both as an elected official and as a teacher at Rialto High School. Born and raised in Riverside, Mark's commitment to public service began at an early age.

His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives. Mark attended La Sierra High School in the Alvord Unified School District, and in 1979 he graduated as the school's valedictorian.

Mark attended Harvard College and received his bachelor's degree in Government in 1983. As a student, he bused tables to help make ends meet. During his senior year, he organized a transcontinental bicycle ride to benefit the international development agency Oxfam America. Upon graduation, Mark returned home to Riverside and began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988.

As a classroom teacher, Mark confronted the challenges in our public education system daily. In 1990, Mark was elected to the Riverside Community College District's Board of Trustees. At RCC, Mark worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career. He was elected Board President in 1991 and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges.

In 2012, Mark became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress. Mark Takano represents the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and Perris in the United States House of Representatives. He serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and as a member of the Education and Workforce Committee.

Chairman, House Committee on Veterans Affairs



Welcome Remarks

  • Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Policy Impact on Veterans Healthcare

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano will discuss the federal programs and ongoing policy decisions that are supporting the health care, benefits and educational programs impacting the nation’s veterans.

  • Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • Moderator: Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Industry Perspective

  • Maheen Mirza, Director, Federal Healthcare, Dell Technologies
  • Moderator: Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Strategizing Technology for the Veteran

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made leaps forward with its IT modernization and digital services projects that have improved the customer experience for veterans. These projects have allowed agencies like the VA to pivot during the national quarantine in the form of telehealth medical appointments, benefits, services and more.

  • Dominic Cussatt, Deputy CIO and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Susan Perez, Chief of Staff, Office of Information Technology, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Moderator: Tim Cox, Senior Director, GovernmentCIO

IT Modernization

Agency tech executives are modernizing VA services through the application of new technologies to longstanding VA priorities such as health care, benefits and counseling. This panel features how the agency is leveraging approaches to human-centered design, infrastructure, APIs and policy.

  • Paul Brubaker, Deputy CIO, Account Management Office, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Drew Myklegard, Executive Director, Demand Management, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Dr. Greg McDavitt, Director, Global Healthcare & Life Science, Salesforce
  • Moderator: Megha Chokshi, Senior Vice President, GovernmentCIO

Demand for Digital

VA is continuing to provide services remotely and sustaining a quality of care despite the challenges of quickly responding to and adapting around the pandemic. Digital services leaders discuss data analytics, secure data sharing and acquisition strategies that are informing tech developments serving veterans.

  • Luwanda Jones, Deputy CIO, Office of Strategic Sourcing, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Susan McHugh-Polley, Senior Strategic Advisor, Public Sector, World Wide Technology
  • Barbara Morton, Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Moderator: Andy Andrews, Director, GovernmentCIO

Congressional Interview

GovernmentCIO Media & Research President Michael Hoffman sits down with House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Phil Roe to discuss the VA's response to the pandemic, electronic health record modernization, the GI Bill, telework and more.

  • Rep. Phil Roe, R-TN, Ranking Member, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • Moderator: Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research

Closing Remarks

  • Michael Hoffman, President, GovernmentCIO Media & Research


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