“Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ‘Under Serious Consideration’ for Trump Cabinet,” reports ABC News, saying the member of the Hawaii National Guard might be up for a cabinet post, including possibly at Veterans Affairs. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also met with President-elect Donald Trump, leading to speculation he’d be a good fit for Defense, State, or Veterans Affairs. Guy Benson made the case here.
Another name to consider is Leo Mackay, who is a total badass the Trump administration would be well-served to include. Mackay is an American businessman who served as the deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003. Mackay is a distinguished 1983 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, where he later taught history.
A Top Gun graduate, he spent years as an F-14 fighter pilot. Mackay received his master’s and PhD in public policy from Harvard University, where he’s received many awards and fellowships. The man receives plaudits wherever he goes, be it from Black Engineer magazine, his past schools, his Lutheran church body (and mine), or the many boards and organizations on which he serves.
While deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, he oversaw the Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits, and the National Cemetery Administration. During the 1990s, he served as military assistant to Ashton Carter when he was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. Mackay is currently at Lockheed Martin, where he is senior VP of internal audit, ethics, and sustainability, serving as the corporate audit executive.
The problem with Veterans Affairs is that it’s a huge department with major systematic problems. A veteran with a heart for veterans’ health and the knowhow to turn around the failing systems there is desperately needed. Mackay’s background at the agency and the wisdom gained from a career in the military and business would make him a wonderful pick.