John Sepulveda

Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs

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Why He Matters

Behind the far-reaching actions of the Department of Veterans Affairs are the department's employees, nearly 280,000 of them. And behind the employees of the nation's second-largest agency is Sepulveda, appointed in 2009 as VA's assistant secretary for human resources and administration.

His primary duties include working as principal adviser to VA Secretary Shinseki, his executive staff and VA's human resources managers. Sepulveda's focus is on labor-management relations, diversity management and equal employment opportunity, resolution management, employee health and safety, workers' compensation and VA central office administration.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Member of Agency Review Team, Obama - Biden Presidential Transition Team; Senior Vice President for Operations, National Association of Mortgage Brokers; Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; Director, Federal Housing Administration's Office of Insured Health Care Facilities, Department of Housing and Urban Development ; Office of Presidential Personnel, White House ; Deputy Director, Office of Personnel Management; Professor, Yale University
  • Hometown: New York City, N.Y.
  • Alma Mater: Two graduate degrees from Yale University; bachelor's degree from Hunter College, 1977
  • Spouse: Awilda Rodriguez-Sepulveda
  • DC Office: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420
  • Web site

Path to Power

Sepulveda, a native of New York City, earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College in 1977. He then attended Yale University, where he earned two master's degrees before teaching political science at the Ivy League school.

His professional career then moved to the real-estate industry. Sepulveda held several key positions for industry groups, such as senior vice president for operations at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.

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The Issues

To support the stated goal of transforming VA, the department needs to "invest in civil servants to better serve our veterans now and to support the transformation of the department," Sepulveda told a Senate panel in May 2009.

He said that investment has to include expanding training opportunities for employees, including managers, using a broad spectrum of delivery systems and media. He has also called for greater use of automation and technology to better manage all personnel actions, including hiring, performance evaluations, employee benefits and records.

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The Network

At the VA, Sepulveda will work closely with its top leadership, including Secretary Eric Shinseki, Tammy Duckworth, Scott Gould, Roger Baker, and Robert Petzel.


Campaign Contributions

The Center for Responsive Politics does not list any political donations made by Sepulveda.