Scott Gould, the number two official at the Veterans Affairs Department for the last four years, is stepping down May 17, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a news release today.
As the department’s deputy secretary, Gould has served as chief operating officer since winning Senate confirmation to the job in April 2009. In that role, he “has been vital to the progress we’ve made on our top three priorities: increasing access to VA care and services, eliminating the compensation claims backlog and ending veterans’ homelessness,” Shinseki said in the release. “While we have more work to do, Scott’s contributions have been immense.”
The release is mum on why is leaving now or where he might be heading next, but in an email to FedLine, VA spokesman Josh Taylor said Gould “made this decision with his family, on his own terms.” While Gould has not made a final decision on next step, Taylor said, he is “ready for the next stage in his private-sector career.” Gould did not reply to phone and email messages seeking direct comment.
Gould is at least the third senior VA official to announce his departure in recent months; since February, both Chief Information Officer Roger Baker and Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin have stepped down.
Gould came to VA from IBM Global Business Services, where he was vice president for public sector strategy, according to his official bio. He has also been CEO of an investment services firm and worked at the Treasury Department, Commerce Department and Export-Import Bank.
[This post has been updated]