Isakson Applauds Senate Confirmation of Two VA Nominees

Nominees for VA’s offices of information and technology, accountability and whistleblower protection confirmed

ATLANTA – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., applauded the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of James Gfrerer to be chief information officer (CIO) and assistant secretary for information and technology at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Tamara Bonzanto to be assistant secretary for accountability and whistleblower protection at the VA.

“I’m pleased that the Senate has unanimously confirmed these two accomplished nominees to serve in very important roles at the VA,” said Isakson. “Mr. Gfrerer and Ms. Bonzanto each bring unique experience to their respective positions, and I’m confident that they will do great work on behalf of our nation’s veterans. I look forward to working with each of them in their new roles.”

The VA’s chief information officer oversees a number of critical projects at the VA, including the massive electronic health records merger, a new system to support the expanded VA caregivers benefits, processing of G.I. Bill payments and many other IT priorities.

Mr. Gfrerer served as an executive director with Ernst & Young where he worked in the firm’s cybersecurity practice. Prior to joining the company, he served in the United States Marine Corps for more than two decades and was a Department of Defense detailee to the Department of State leading interagency portfolios in counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

The Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection was established in 2017 in legislation that Isakson authored, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which required the office be headed up by a Senate-confirmed assistant secretary to ensure full accountability by Congress and the American people.

Ms. Bonzanto previously served as a healthcare investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Her career in health care began when she enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2001. 

Isakson chaired a committee hearing to consider the nominees on Sept. 5, 2018, and the nominees were approved by the committee on Sept. 18, 2018.


The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 115th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as more than 750,000 veterans.