Arnold Russo was appointed the Associate Executive Director, Office of Acquisition Program Support (AED APS) on April 12, 2021. Mr. Russo also serves as the Office of Acquisition Logistics (OAL’s) Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Under his executive leadership, APS provides the full range of mission support services and operations for activities focused on Acquisition Workforce Professional Development and Credentialing, OAL Supply Fund Budget Management, Human Resources Liaison requirements, Business Transformation, Office of Acquisition Logistics & Construction (OALC) Facilities Management, Emergency Preparedness, and Continuity of Operations management. As OAL’s COO, he is responsible for overseeing key management functions, business transformation efforts, performance management, day-to-day administrative and operational functions necessary to improve OAL’s organizational effectiveness as well as mission and goals achievement.
Prior to joining OAL, Mr. Russo served in three different senior management roles in VA’s Corporate Senior Executive Management Office (CSEMO), most notably as the Deputy Director.
As Deputy Director, he oversaw three Directorates responsible for VA’s senior executive professional development; policy development and implementation; program management, and recruitment and budget operations. Additionally, he ensured VA’s Senior Executive cadre were provided with the tools and resources necessary to successfully lead their respective organizations.
As CSEMO’s Director, Strategic Program Management and Support, he managed VA’s executive talent management and succession planning; executive professional development, corporate communications, rotational assignments; and the Department’s executive coaching program.
As Deputy to the Director, Executive Performance Management (and Acting Director) he oversaw the Department’s Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Leader (SL) performance management systems to include coordinating the Performance Review Board (PRB) responsible for recommending performance ratings and senior leader honor awards to the VA Secretary.
Mr. Russo spent 21 years in Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) where he held several critical management and supervisory positions that improved the quality of life for tens of thousands of Veterans and their dependents.
As VBA’s Chief of Procedures in Compensation Service, he supervised staff who managed highly visible (transformational initiative) programs such as the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program and the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) pilot program. In addition, he served as the Director of the Appeals Management Center (AMC) and led 125 staff that processed all Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) remanded cases in one centralized location, which served as the blueprint for centralizing all remanded cases nationwide.
Prior to being appointed Director AMC, Mr. Russo served as the Compensation Service Division, Director of the Quality Assurance conducting quality reviews to ensure compliance with regulations, procedures, and Court precedent in the processing of benefit claims.
Finally, Mr. Russo served as the Assistant Deputy Director of a Tiger Team that managed a 54 member staff who processed and adjudicated disability claims of Veterans (that were 70 years old or older) that were pending for one year or older. This team’s success paved the way for the creation of the AMC, where he served as the organization’s second Director.
Mr. Russo earned his Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Baruch College in New York with a major in Human Resource (HR) Management and minor in Law. He also completed 44 credits towards his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Brooklyn Law School. Mr. Russo is a 2011 graduate of the VA’s Senior Executive Service Corporate Development Program (SESCDP) and was certified by OPM in December 2011.