VA’s Deputy CIO Takes New Job

The front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington.

The front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington. Charles Dharapak/AP

Steph Warren oversaw VA’s $4 billion IT shop and its several thousand employees over the past two years, owning the agency’s cybersecurity strategy and answering repeatedly to Congress on its perceived IT vulnerabilities and the successful cyberintrusions of nation state-sponsored attackers.

Stephen Warren, the Department of Veterans Affairs deputy chief information officer, will leave the agency effective Aug. 28 to become the Office of the Comptroller of Currency’s CIO.

FCW reported the story first.

“I want to take a moment to announce the upcoming departure of Stephen Warren from VA,” LaVerne Council, assistant secretary for the Office of Information and Technology at VA, wrote in an email to VA staff. “Stephen came to OI&T over seven years ago to lead the consolidation of IT at VA and has served as the principal deputy assistant secretary since his arrival, and for the last two years he concurrently served as the CIO.”

“Stephen's leadership helped lay the foundation for the organization that we will continue to improve upon and bring to greatness,” Council continued.

Warren oversaw VA’s $4 billion IT shop and its several thousand employees over the past two years, owning the agency’s cybersecurity strategy and answering repeatedly to Congress on its perceived IT vulnerabilities and the successful cyberintrusions of nation state-sponsored attackers.

Yet, VA made great strides under Warren in consolidating its IT systems, ceasing unproductive programs, delivering the GI Bill system on schedule and implementing the massive Veterans Management Benefits System across 56 regional offices.

Upon hearing news of Warren’s departure, former VA CIO Roger Baker praised the efforts of his former deputy.

“Steph worked for me for four years, and was an outstanding partner in the things we accomplished during that time,” Baker told Nextgov. “For those that forget, those things included completing the consolidation of VA IT, stopping 45 failing programs, delivering the GI Bill system on time, and deploying the VBMS system nationally six months ahead of schedule. None of that could have been done without Steph Warren.”

In an email to FCW, Warren recounted his successes. While VA has yet to pick a successor to Warren, it’s likely Warren’s new job will be a bit less stressful.

“Building one of the largest consolidated IT organizations; developing and deploying the new GI Bill system that today processes original enrollment requests with no required human interaction; moving the benefits determination process from a completely paper-based process to one that is now almost completely in digits; and a dramatic increase in the volume and type of information that we share with [the Department of Defense] to make sure veterans are receiving the care that they desire," Warren told FCW.

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