Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs

Robert L. Jesse, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2010. In this position, Dr. Jesse leads clinical policies and programs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Nation’s largest integrated health care system. In addition to its medical care mission, VHA is the Nation’s largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research. Previously, Dr. Jesse was the Chief Consultant for Medical Surgical Services in the VA’s Office of Patient Care Services, also serving as the National Program Director for Cardiology. Dr. Jesse received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 and later worked as a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 1980, he earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics at the Medical College of Virginia, followed by his M.D. in 1984, completing both his Residency and Cardiology fellowship there. Dr. Jesse began his career as the Director of the Acute Cardiac Care Program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health System. Prior to assuming national leadership positions in VHA, Dr. Jesse was the Chief of the Cardiology Section at the Richmond VA Medical Center in Virginia.

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