NCAA Executive, Former Army Officer Tapped to Serve as Deputy VA Secretary

NCAA Executive, Former Army Officer Tapped to Serve as Deputy VA Secretary
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A former Army officer who now serves in a key college athletics leadership role has been nominated to serve as deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, President Joe Biden announced Friday.


Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief operating officer and chief legal officer, would take over the VA’s No. 2 position pending Senate confirmation. Remy, who left service as a captain, served as an assistant to the Army’s general counsel while in uniform.


Prior to taking over as second-in-command with the NCAA, Remy held multiple private- and public-sector positions, serving as a partner and global practice group chair at Latham & Watkins, a senior vice president with Fannie Mae, a deputy assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice (DOJ), and as a law clerk on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


President Barack Obama nominated Remy to serve as the Army’s general counsel in 2009, but Remy withdrew from consideration after failing to list Fannie Mae as a previous employer on one of his nomination forms. The government had taken over the troubled mortgage buyer in 2007.


[RELATED: VA Secretary Focuses on Restoring Trust, Helping All Veterans]


Remy was chosen for the NCAA’s top legal job in 2011 and assumed the chief operating officer position in 2019. The NCAA oversees nearly half a million athletes at more than 1,000 colleges and universities.


The son of a career Army noncommissioned officer, Remy attended Louisiana State University on an ROTC scholarship. He later graduated third in his class from Howard University Law School.


He oversaw 140 lawyers in his DOJ role, one of the youngest prosecutors to serve in such a capacity. He told The Washington Post in a 1999 article that he “felt like I could rise to the challenge. … I was trained as a military officer, and I thought I had the background to be able to do it."


Carolyn Clancy has served as acting VA deputy secretary since Jan. 20, taking over for another acting deputy, Pamela Powers. The last Senate-confirmed deputy secretary, James Byrne, was fired in February 2020 by then-Secretary Robert Wilkie, citing a “loss of confidence.”


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley