Senate Approves Army Veteran as VA's Deputy Secretary

Donald Remy speaks during an interview in Indianapolis
In this May 6, 2015 photo, then-NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy speaks during an interview in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The NCAA's chief operating officer, a former member of the Army's Judge Advocate General Corps, has been confirmed as the second-highest official at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In a 91-8 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Donald Remy to serve as deputy secretary to Secretary Denis McDonough. The department has not had a Senate-confirmed deputy since James Byrne, who was fired in February 2020 by then Secretary Robert Wilkie.

Dr. Carolyn Clancy, an internist, researcher and 18-year veteran of the department who has worn many hats at VA, has been serving as acting deputy secretary since the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Remy, a graduate of Louisiana State University and Howard University School of Law, served as assistant to the General Counsel of the Army from 1991 to 1995, achieving the rank of captain. He later clerked for a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and served as deputy assistant general for the Justice Department.

Following his stint at Justice, he worked as general counsel for the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae. His job at Fannie Mae later derailed his nomination to General Counsel of the Army in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama when he failed to identify the corporation by name on nomination forms.

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Fannie Mae went under government conservatorship amid the mortgage crisis in 2008.

Remy is the son of a Vietnam veteran, retired Army Master Sgt. Donald Remy, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and the brother of an Air Force veteran.

During his confirmation hearing on May 19, he pledged to deliver "on our promises to those who served and their families."

That includes upholding legislation passed by Congress, implementing the use of electronic health records, supporting veterans seeking benefits, and protecting whistleblowers.

"I think it's important to communicate to all of our workforce that whistleblowers will be protected in our environment, that the culture of the environment is such that we need to make people feel comfortable," Remy said during his hearing.

"I've been given a clear mission by Secretary McDonough, to use all my experience, skills, and leadership capabilities as the department's chief operating and management officer to help nurture a culture of excellence and motivate those around me to deliver on our shared values," he added.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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