WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump nominated Admiral Ronny L. Jackson as VA Secretary and announced that Robert Wilkie, a former senior advisor to Senator Tillis, will serve as Acting VA Secretary:
“Robert Wilkie—my friend, former senior advisor, and proud North Carolina native—is an outstanding choice by the President to lead the transition at the VA. I can't think of anyone who is as capable, sincere, and passionate about serving and caring for the brave men and women who have worn the uniform.
“I had a positive working relationship with Dr. Shulkin, as I did with his predecessor under President Obama, and I am grateful for his service to our nation. I look forward to working with Dr. Ronny Jackson on modernizing and reforming the VA, fixing the VA Choice Program, and implementing the major reforms that Congress has passed over the last year.”
Background on Robert Wilkie:
Robert Wilkie, a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, is the current Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, confirmed unanimously by the Senate in November 2017. Wilkie served as Senator Tillis’ senior advisor since Tillis took office in 2015 until late 2017, advising him on national security, military, and veterans affairs issues. Wilkie previously served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs under Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld. He also served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for National Security Affairs and as Senior Director of the National Security Council under Dr. Condoleezza Rice.