President Biden has nominated Kurt DelBene as assistant secretary for information and technology and chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the White House announced Wednesday.
DelBene joins the VA after retiring from Microsoft in September, where he was executive vice president of corporate strategy, core services and operations. In that role, he led the technology giant’s cross-engineering and cross-business strategy, and also spearheaded its response to COVID-19.
Earlier in his career, DelBene worked in the Obama administration for a brief time, during which he led improvement work on Healthcare.gov as a senior adviser to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. While working on Healthcare.gov, he helped to troubleshoot issues encountered during the first open enrollment period.
Other previous roles include a spell at McKinsey and Company, where he focused on business strategy for technology companies. Before that, he also worked as a software developer and systems engineer for AT&T Bell Laboratories.
When DelBene left Microsoft to work on Healthcare.gov, Bill Gates in a blog post described him as “a talented and capable executive.”
“I’m certain he’ll make an important positive contribution in his new role with HHS,” Gates added at the time.
If confirmed by the Senate, DelBene would be the first permanent CIO of the VA during the Biden administration. Jim Gfrerer vacated the position at the end of the Trump administration after serving in it for two years. Since then, the role has been filled in an acting capacity by Dominic Cussatt and, more recently, Neil Evans.
DelBene is married to Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct an error in DelBene’s job title.