George J. Opfer was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on September 6, 2005, and confirmed by the Senate November 10, 2005. He assumed responsibility as Inspector General on November 17, 2005.
As Inspector General, Mr. Opfer directs a nationwide staff of auditors, investigators, inspectors and support personnel. His office conducts oversight review to improve the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of VA programs, and to prevent and detect criminal activity, waste, abuse and fraud.
Mr. Opfer came to VA from the U.S. Department of Labor, where he was Deputy Inspector General, responsible for day-to-day operations aimed at reducing labor racketeering and corruption in employee benefit plans, labor management relations and internal union affairs. Prior to that, he was Inspector General at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 8 years, focusing on work that would produce positive changes in FEMA’s response to emergencies and disasters.
Mr. Opfer earned a bachelor's degree in management from St. John’s University in New York, N.Y. He began his federal career in 1969 as an agent in the New York office of the U.S. Secret Service. During his 25 years in the Secret Service, he served in Senior Executive Service positions in the Office of Investigations, the Office of Inspections, the Presidential Protective Division, and the Washington, D.C., field office.
Among many awards throughout his career, Mr. Opfer has received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive in 1992; he is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute.