August 10, 2000
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Clinton has appointed Edward A. (Ned) Powell, Jr., as the Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Powell, currently VAs Assistant Secretary for Financial Management, will fill the position held by Hershel W. Gober, who was named Acting VA Secretary.
In his new assignment, Powell will become the chief operating officer of the federal government's second largest cabinet department. With an annual budget of $48 billion, VA employs about 219,000 people at hundreds of VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and national cemeteries throughout the country.
Powell has directed VAs budget, finance and procurement policies and operations since October 1998. In 21 months, he has accumulated a record of success in improving the departments financial management and integrity. He played an instrumental role in the development of the Administrations latest VA budget submission to the Congress, which includes the largest-ever increase in discretionary (primarily health care) spending for veterans. Under his leadership, the FY 2001 budget proposal incorporated the first successful integration of planning, performance and resource information in a single VA document.
In another first, Powell led VA to an unqualified audit opinion of its FY1999 financial statements, which included a retroactive clean opinion of the prior years statements.
Through his advocacy of electronic commerce, Powell increased VAs earnings from rebates to $10 million in FY 1999. He has initiated a project to integrate more than 40 existing, disparate systems into a departmental, state-of-the-art, core financial and logistics system that will eliminate redundancies and reduce errors.
Powell has broad experience in finance, investment banking, strategic marketing and management. He joined the Young Presidents Organization in 1981 at the age of 33. Between 1989 and 1997, he owned and managed Mechanism Design, Inc., a precision machine parts manufacturing firm. Previously, he was First Vice President of Investment Banking for Sovran Bank (now Bank of America), and held a Securities and Exchange Commission brokers license. He is a former professor of business ethics and policy at the University of Richmond, a business planning consultant, and has held a Virginia Real Estate Brokers License.
Powell served in the Navy Reserve for six years, two of which were on active duty, including assignments with the Defense Intelligence Agency, for which he received the Distinguished Service Award.
Powell earned a B.A. in economics from Washington and Lee University and a masters in business administration from the University of North Carolina.
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