Headshot of person/agency from Department of Veterans Affairs

Kurt DelBene

CIO, Department of Veterans Affairs

CIO, Department of Veterans Affairs

Kurt DelBene attributes being a good leader in IT to building a culture that’s focused on developing something users love. “I strive to build a culture where teams are passionate about creating tools and services that result in users — in our case, the Veteran, their caregiver, and their families — seeing a new tool, feature, or functionality that delights them,” said DelBene. “To achieve this, a good leader must articulate a clear and concise vision to ensure that we align resources to the highest priority tasks with concrete plans and clear measures of success.” Since joining the VA as CIO last December, DelBene has developed a vision for digital transformation dedicated to that user experience, as well focusing on the highest-priority work and “a back-to-basics foundation” in engineering excellence. Digital transformation in the public sector, DelBene said, is no different than it is in the commercial sector. “In both areas, it’s essential to engage with stakeholders, outline what they are trying to accomplish, and map out how IT can help them achieve that vision,” he said. “That’s digital transformation in the commercial sector, and that’s what we need to do in the federal space as well.”

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