President Obama will nominate Robert A. McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gable, as the new Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You already know the challenges he will face at the VA, an agency in the midst of its worst crisis. Here are 10 things to know about McDonald:
- He’s a West Point graduate (top 2 percent of his class), class of 1975. While at the U.S. Military Academy, McDonald was the Brigade-Adjutant for the Corps of Cadets and was awarded the Silver Medal from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce.
- He was a Captain in the U.S. Army for five years with the 82nd Airborne Division and received the Meritorious Service Medal.
- He is the son of an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, and his wife’s father was shot down over Europe and survived harsh treatment as a prisoner of war, according to The Washington Post.
- He is a registered Republican, according to the Hamilton (Ohio) County Board of Elections. During the 2012 presidential race, he gave $2,500 to Mitt Romney and $11,000 to the Romney Victory Committee, and, less than a year ago, he made a contribution of $1,000 to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Politico reported.
- He can handle large bureaucracies with even larger constituencies. As CEO at Procter & Gamble, McDonald oversaw more than 120,000 employees globally. P&G served more than five billion customers.
- McDonald is a member of the West Point Association of Graduates, the 75th Ranger Regiment Association and the U.S. Army Ranger Association.
- He joined Procter & Gamble in 1980, and served as the brand manager for Tide from 1984-86.
- McDonald received the inaugural Leadership Excellence Award from the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard Business Review in 2007.
- He serves on the Board of Directors of Xerox, the McKinsey Advisory Council and the Singapore International Advisory Council of the Economic Development Board.
- CNN reported that McDonald was recognized for his leadership, twice named as the best company for leaders by Chief Executive Magazine and being named No. 1 in Hay Group’s Best Companies for Leadership Study, which annually analyzes over 2,200 companies around the world.
What do you think of McDonald’s qualifications and the challenges he faces at the VA?