Peter O’Rourke, senior adviser to the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been appointed as aÂ senior adviser and the executive director of theÂ newly established office of accountability and whistleblower protection within the VA.
VA said Friday that O’Rourke will bring more than a decade’sÂ worth of leadership experience to aid the department secretary on the use of available authorities to discipline personnel who have failed to carry out their respective duties on behalf of veterans.
He will help determine potential statutory barriers to the VA secretary’s authority to impose disciplinary actions against staff members who haveÂ jeopardized the safety of veterans.
The new executive director will also collaborate with various VA components to addressÂ veterans’ complaints regarding wrongdoings at the department and help conduct investigations to protect employees whoÂ disclose wrongdoings against potential retaliation.
“We need to hold our employees accountable for their actions if they violate the public trust, and at the same time protect whistleblowers from retaliation,” said David Shulkin, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
O’Rourke has held various leadership roles with Calibre Systems, the Association of the U.S. Army, Blackland Aerospace, Strong America Now, Accenture, George Group Consulting, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from theÂ University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a master’s degree in logistics, materials and supply chain management from theÂ U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology.