TOP 5: GovCon Health Care Executives to Know

TOP 5: GovCon Health Care Executives to Know

COVID-19 has dominated the headlines lately and underscored the importance of public-private collaboration to identify ways of responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As government and industry persevere through the global public health emergency, cooperative initiatives have also emerged to address the crisis such as the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium — which brings together government, commercial and academic stakeholders to provide compute resources for research aimed at curbing infection.

Health care executives in both the public and private sectors are also working to ensure the delivery of services using innovative approaches, systems and processes.

The Potomac Officers Club — a division of Executive Mosaic — profiles some of the GovCon arena’s key people that are helping to drive value in the health space.

Robert Wilkie, VA Secretary
Robert Wilkie

Robert Wilkie, VA Secretary

Robert Wilkie, a past Wash100 winner, is the current Department of Veterans Affairs secretary, a role which he initially assumed on an acting capacity for two months before his confirmation on July 23, 2018.

Prior to his appointment as VA secretary, Wilkie was the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, serving under former Defense Secretary James Mattis. The said role effectively established Wilkie as the principal adviser to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense for total force management relative to readiness, National Guard and Reserve component affairs, health affairs, training and personnel requirements and management, VA said.

Wilkie’s decades-long federal career extends to his time serving as assistant secretary of defense to Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates during the George W. Bush administration. Under the same administration, Wilkie served as a special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director of the National Security Council, reporting to then State Secretary Condoleezza Rice. Over at the legislative branch, he was named senior adviser to Sen. Thom Tills and counsel and adviser on international security affairs to Sen. Trent Lott, the former Senate majority leader.

Currently, Wilkie is ranked as a colonel and is enlisted in the Air Force Reserve under the Office of the Chief of Staff. He also rendered service as part of the Navy Reserve, along with the Joint Forces Intelligence Command, Naval Special Warfare Group Two and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

During his time in the private sector, Wilkie spent five years as vice president for strategic programs for CH2M HILL, where he held management and advisory assignments for the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the reorganization of the U.K. Ministry of Defense Supply and Logistics. The Jacobs Engineering Group acquired CH2M HILL in December 2017 for $3.27B.

Wilkie earned his juris doctor from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, a master of laws in international and comparative law from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College.

Jonathan Woodson
Jonathan Woodson

Jonathan Woodson, Army Medical Command Commanding General

Jonathan Woodson, a two-time Wash100 awardee, serves as the Army Reserve Medical Command commanding general. He assumed the post on March 31, 2019, after completing his assignment as 3rd Medical Command deputy commanding general.

Woodson served as the assistant secretary for health affairs during the Obama administration. In that role, he administered a Military Health System budget of over $50B, the Army said.

The Department of Defense credits him with ensuring the effective execution of military medical missions. Woodson helps develop medical policies, analyses and recommendations for the secretary of defense and the undersecretary for personnel and readiness. He also advised the latter on matters of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear medical defense programs and deployment matters related to force health.

During his military tenure, Woodson held several medical support roles and was deployed in operations such as Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The military honored Woodson with several awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Kosovo Campaign Medal.

As a civilian, he leverages his medical expertise as a professor at Boston University. Woodson is also the director of the university-wide Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy.

Woodson graduated from the City College of NewYork and the New York University School of Medicine, in addition to earning a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

He received his postgraduate medical education from the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and completed his residency training in internal medicine, general and vascular surgery.

Woodson is a board-certified practitioner of internal medicine, general surgery, vascular surgery and critical care surgery.

Jennifer Welham
Jennifer Welham

Jennifer Welham, ICF’s SVP for Public Health

Jennifer Welham, a Potomac Officers Club member, serves as ICF’s senior vice president for public health. She has been with the company for nearly 30 years, serving public- and private-sector clients with issues related to public health outcomes.

In her current role, Welham is responsible for leading ICF’s health, science and human services division with the goal of delivering research, training, technical assistance and evaluation support to the company’s customers, ICF said.

ICF is a Fairfax-based management consulting company whose customer base includes the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Administration for Children and Families.

Welham leverages her extensive experience in assessing the health risks and hazards of exposure to environmental pollutants such as chemicals and pathogens.

In 2008, Welham became the leader of ICF’s environmental risk and toxicology business unit, which involves 75 people. The group became part of the environmental and health sciences line of business in 2012 and grew to 120 people under her leadership.

Welham joined the ICF in July 1990 as a research assistant and has stayed with the company since. She now leads ICF’s health and survey research line of business, which still includes the company’s health science practice.

Welham earned a master’s degree in biology from George Mason University with a specialty in environmental science and public policy. Welham also holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology from The College of William and Mary.

In 2009, the Project Management Institute certified Welham as a project management professional.

Kamal Narang Health Care
Kamal Narang

Kamal Narang, VP, GM of GDIT’s Federal Health Sector

Kamal Narang serves as the vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Information Technology’s federal health sector.

In his current position, Narang provides executive oversight of the strategic direction, growth, planning and performance of a team that delivers mission-critical information technology services and solutions across federal government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Narang, a Potomac Officers Club member, has over 20 years of experience in the federal health IT industry, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The executive transitioned to GDIT after a two-and-a-half-year tenure as vice president of the federal health group at CSRA, which the former acquired in 2018. While at CSRA, Narang also served as vice president of health programs, putting him at the helm of a 250-member IT and bioinformatics team that supports a number of software engineering, infrastructure, bioinformatics contracts across NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services. He was also at the helm of the business program’s management and operation, including execution and growth. Additionally, he worked as a senior principal at CSRA, wherein he managed several technology-based projects across all research and science support systems for various government clients.

Prior to working for CSRA, Narang held executive roles at Clinitek, CTIS and Wockhardt.

Narang holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from The John Hopkins University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Maryland.

Rob Sherry
Rob Sherry

Rob Sherry, Senior Director of Federal Healthcare at VMware

Rob Sherry has spent over two-and-a-half years serving as the senior director of federal healthcare at VMware, a computer software company that specializes in cloud infrastructure, virtualization, cloud management, software-defined data center and network virtualization.

A 20-year industry veteran, Sherry, a member of the Potomac Officers Club, has spent the last 10 years holding executive roles for a number of information technology, government relations and human resources companies.

Most recently, Sherry spent nearly two years working for Halfaker and Associates as a chief growth officer and for Lockheed Martin company Systems Made Simple as director of federal healthcare account management, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Earlier in his career, Sherry worked at companies such as Presidio, GTSI and ADP.

In a previous interview with ExecutiveBiz, Sherry said his experience working for systems integrator businesses provided him with unique opportunities to understand, participate in, and contribute to hugely important programs within Fed Health. He noted that having the understanding of agency missions, which he learned from systems integrators, is crucial in his current role at VMware, considering the increasing complexity of mission requirements that were being asked of technology companies at the time.

Sherry has also delved into health care efforts initiated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In particular, he has been involved in reducing the VA’s disability claims backlog and in the agency’s VA VOICE, Vet 360 and Document Conversion programs.


The Potomac Officers Club is owned and operated by Executive Mosaic. Since 2002, Executive Mosaic has been a leader in media and exclusive senior executive networking programs primarily targeted to the U.S. federal government contracting (GovCon) marketplace. In addition to connecting executives of consequence into a fabric of like-minded communities, the company’s growing cross-media platform serves as a leading source of news about the people, policies, trends and events shaping the nation’s GovCon sector.

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