Allison Hickey was appointed Under Secretary for Benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs on June 6, 2011. In this position, she leads more than 20,000 employees in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) in the delivery of a wide range of integrated programs of non-medical benefits and service to more than 12 million Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and Survivors. Through a nationwide network of 56 regional offices, special processing centers, and VBA headquarters, she directs the administration of seven distinct lines of business: VA’s disability compensation, pension and fiduciary, education, home loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and employment, life insurance programs, and transition assistance programs, and an annual budget of more than $94 billion.
Under Secretary Hickey currently leads a six-year, multi-billion dollar transformation effort at VBA to improve the quality and timeliness with which Veterans’ benefits are processed and delivered. Under her leadership, in less than two years, VBA has converted claims processing from a paper-bound process to a digital operating environment where claims for VA benefits and services can be submitted, processed and delivered online, electronically. For the first time in history, Veterans can file their claims online; upload their documentation; and check their claim status through a multi-channel Veteran relationship management system that includes a one-stop-shop Web portal with nearly 60 self-service features. In addition, she led the transformation of VBA’s training and quality management improvements resulting in steady increases in the accuracy of decisions. These initiatives and others have positioned VBA to achieve historical record-breaking production and quality in service to Veterans, their families and Survivors.
Prior to joining VA, Ms. Hickey led a Human Capital Management program at Accenture for the intelligence community, including the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, where she supported operational business processes in the areas of customer relationship management, call center practices, and 21st century information technology systems.
Under Secretary Hickey served 27 years in the United States Air Force on Active Duty, in the Air National Guard, and in the Air Force Reserve, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General as the Director of the Air Force’s Future Total Force office at the Pentagon. In this role, she was responsible for shifting billions of dollars toward new capabilities across the Air Force portfolio and directing new organizational models for a worldwide, 500,000-person organization. Under Secretary Hickey is a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the first class to include women.