The Department of Veterans Affairs’ first permanent data director is leaving the agency next month.

VA Chief Data Officer Kshemendra Paul, who is also executive director of data governance and analytics in the agency’s office of enterprise integration, is leaving to become the deputy inspector general of the energy department for cybersecurity assessments and data analysis.

Paul, in an internal staff email obtained by Federal News Network, said he would transition “on…

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The Department of Veterans Affairs’ first permanent data director is leaving the agency next month.

VA Chief Data Officer Kshemendra Paul, who is also executive director of data governance and analytics in the agency’s office of enterprise integration, is leaving to become the deputy inspector general of the energy department for cybersecurity assessments and data analysis.

Paul, in an internal staff email obtained by Federal News Network, said he would transition “over the next few weeks” and his last day in VA would be Nov. 7.

“My role will be to advance data analytics by fostering management excellence and integrity in Energy’s programs and operations, including in the areas of science, safety and energy,” Paul wrote in his Oct. 18 email.

Lisa Rosenmerkel will take over as Acting VA Chief Data Officer and Executive Director of the Office of Data Governance after Nov. 4.

Paul joined the VA in September 2019 to establish the role of CDO within the agency.

The Foundations of Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, enacted earlier that year, required all agencies to appoint a CDO. Dat Tran, prior to Paul’s arrival, served as VA’s interim CDO.

Paul, in his email to staff, said the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration are maturing in their use of data governance and analytics.

“The VA data and analytics community has come together to organize, lead change, and build momentum by implementing the VA data strategy and roadmap,” Paul wrote. “The community is integrating interoperable data management and operational decision support at an increasing scale. They are moving away from the siled pipes of programs, functions, and regional data; and move toward reusing a single, trusted source of truth modeling the individual journeys of veterans in VA programs and administrations.

VA released its first enterprise data strategy in January 2021. The strategy outlines how the agency will make its data a strategic asset across the department.

VA’s Data Governance Council estimates that about 10,000 VA employees have “substantial involvement in data management and analytics,” but concludes that the agency is in the early stages of sharing information about data beyond projects, programs or agency sub-components.

The strategy highlights how the VA needs next-level data management capabilities to support the deployment of its Oracle-Cerner electronic health record (EHR) and adoption of standard Defense Medical Logistics support (DMLSS), the Defense Health Agency’s multi-billion dollar medical supply chain management system.

The strategy also identifies the need to achieve its data management and data maturity goals to modernize financial management and procurement systems through its Financial Management Transformation Program (FMBT).

“Data plays a key role in this transformation, and there is a need to ensure that data management and analytics capabilities are aligned across the department,” the strategy states.

Paul, speaking at a FedInsider webinar in January 2021, said the VA is working with the Department of Defense’s CDO on a “common vision” for data and analytics.

With this information, Paul said the VA is looking to improve its customer experience for veterans as they transition out of active military duty.

“The key idea is to recognize and build on the customer experience journey mapping that VA led on, and feed it back into the service member journey, so that we have an integrated view of the journey. of the service veteran – understanding the moments that matter [and] what is the authoritative data that we want to use safely to support those moments that matter,” Paul said in January 2021.

In December 2020, the agency released its Data Management Directive, which sets out enterprise-wide policies to enable the management of VA data as a strategic asset in a consistent, accurate, and holistic manner.

Paul told staff in his email that a lot of work remains to meet the VA’s data goals, but said “the work will continue, consolidate and thrive.”

“A highlight for me is seeing the growth, engagement and impact with the [Data Governance and Analytics] crew. It is gratifying to see how DGA staff and leaders have themselves grown and impacted together with Office of Information and Technology teammates who support partners across VA,” Paul wrote.

Paul previously served as the Head of Cloud Action for the Department of Homeland Security, where he helped coordinate cloud migration efforts and data center optimization.

He also led terrorism-related information sharing efforts at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from 2010 to 2016. Paul began his federal government career in 2005 as Chief Enterprise Architect in the Department of Justice.