Isakson Statement on Trump’s Intent to Nominate Assistant Secretary for VA Accountability, Whistleblower Protection Office

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s intent to nominate Tamara Bonzanto to be assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection:

“I am pleased that President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Tamara Bonzanto to be assistant secretary of the VA’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. A veteran herself, Ms. Bonzanto’s experience as an investigator on the House VA subcommittee on oversight and in working as a healthcare coordinator between the U.S. armed forces and the VA give her the unique experience to navigate the challenging role of ensuring our veterans are best served by the VA and its employees. Our committee is working to ensure the new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection meets its responsibility to manage senior executive discipline and protect the rights of whistleblowers. Having this leadership position filled is critical to furthering that effort. I congratulate Ms. Bonzanto on her presumptive nomination, and I look forward to meeting her soon.”

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. The measure was passed by Congress and signed into law in June 2017. The measure required the office be headed up by a Senate-confirmed assistant secretary to ensure full accountability by Congress and the American people.

Background (courtesy of the White House):

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key position in his Administration:

Tamara Bonzanto of New Jersey, to be an Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

Ms. Bonzanto is the healthcare investigator for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  She is the only licensed registered nurse working for the Committee, and one of the few on Capitol Hill.  Her career in healthcare began when she enlisted in the United States Navy in 2001.  She served as a Hospital Corpsman in a variety of roles, and was honorably discharged in 2006.  From 2012 to 2015, she served as a contracted nurse case manager for the Army Reserves.  Ms. Bonzanto became an expert in coordinating soldiers’ healthcare between the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and civilian healthcare providers in thirteen northeastern states.  After active duty service, she earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in nursing from the Jefferson College of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia where she continued her work in healthcare for the Philadelphia Housing Authority as a nurse case manager.

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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.

 

 

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