After 30-year government career, Veterans Affairs' Gracey to retire

After 30-year government career, Veterans Affairs' Gracey to retire

Harold F. Gracey Jr. says a fortune cookie helped soothe him after he made the decision to end his 30-year government career.

'I had agonized over the decision all day,' the Veterans Affairs Department's acting chief information officer recalled. 'Then the fortune in my fortune cookie said 'Good things are happening in your business world.' I'm not superstitious, but it was a fun thing to happen after a tough decision.'

Gracey will retire June 1 to take an undisclosed position with a small company, he said. Gracey said he wasn't looking to leave government when he heard about the opportunity.

'It just sort of fell out of the sky,' said Gracey, who began his government career in the Army. 'It seems too good to pass up.'

Gracey came to VA in 1983 from Health and Human Services Department. As chief of staff, Gracey grappled with a number of difficult issues including the Agent Orange fallout, a sexual harassment controversy and a government shutdown, which Gracey tagged 'super fun.'

He has the spent last two years as acting CIO.

'Every day it has been something new,' Gracey said, reflecting on his time at the agency. 'Government has been good to me and good for me, but the time is right.'

'Tony Lee Orr

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