VA Chief Innovation Officer and Principal Lead, VA Innovation Center
Mr. Michael Akinyele is the Chief Innovation Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) effective November 10, 2019 and is responsible for leading, transforming and scaling enterprise innovation at the VA. His current efforts are focused on implementing Section 152 of the MISSION Act of 2018 which established the Center for Innovation for Care and Payment at the VA. He is also the Principal Lead of the VA Innovation Center (VIC) which organizationally reports through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Enterprise Integration. He has served in this role in an acting capacity since March 2018.
Away from his work at the VA, Mr. Akinyele is the Managing Principal of an independent advisory firm he founded in 2016. He is a turnaround expert, health care futurist and collaborative leader primarily advising executive officers of global corporations and leading enterprise-wide transformation initiatives for dynamic and complex organizations.
He most recently worked as the Director of Venture Development — Health Care at a multi-billion dollar private foundation with ~$1Bn in funding commitments between 2011 and 2017. Prior to his role in philanthropy, he led management consulting teams focused on developing and implementing solutions to strategic and operational challenges facing multinational corporations. In the U.S. health care industry, he has advised health systems, physician groups, academic medical centers, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers, and a Medicaid agency.
He is a member of the board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF), the largest foundation focused on funding research aimed at finding a cure and serving those touched by the disease. Mr. Akinyele started his career managing physician practices in the Washington, D.C. metro area. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Howard University.