2024 Leadership Summit Keynote Speakers

Tanya Bradsher, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The Honorable Tanya Bradsher was nominated by President Biden to serve as the 10th Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Ms. Bradsher’s nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 14, 2023, and she was sworn in on September 20, 2023. In this role, Deputy Secretary Bradsher helps lead the Department of Veterans Affairs as it continues to deliver more care and more benefits to more Veterans than ever before in the nation’s history. 

Upon her confirmation, Ms. Bradsher said, “As deputy secretary, I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that every Veteran gets the world-class care and benefits they deserve. This is the honor of a lifetime, and I am forever grateful to President Biden and Secretary McDonough for this opportunity to serve our nation’s heroes.”

Ms. Bradsher is a combat Veteran who served for 20 years in the United States Army. She enlisted in 1993 and was commissioned in 1994 from the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Her major assignments included Spokesperson on the White House National Security Council for the Department of Defense, Asia, Africa, Western Hemisphere, counter-terrorism, and detainee policies; Defense Press Officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at the Pentagon; Brigade Public Affairs Officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Deputy Public Affairs officer, 8th U.S. Army; Commander, Delta Company 516th Battalion, and Executive Officer, 1st Replacement Company, 8th Personnel Support Command.

In March 2021, Ms. Tanya Bradsher was selected by Secretary McDonough to serve as the Chief of Staff for Veterans Affairs. Prior to being named VA’s Chief of Staff, Ms. Bradsher served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement on the National Security Staff in the Executive Office of the President. She previously served as the Chief of Staff to Congressman Don Beyer in Virginia’s 8th District. Before working on the Hill, Ms. Bradsher was the Chief of Communications for the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Prior to joining APA, she served at the Defense Health Agency as the Chief for Communications Plans and Operation in the Office of Public Affairs.

During the Obama Administration, Ms. Bradsher served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security where she oversaw public outreach, media, and incident communications efforts and served as the principal communications advisor to the Secretary. Prior to joining DHS, she served at the White House as the Assistant Director, Office of Public Engagement, where she led Veteran, Wounded Warrior, and Military Family Outreach initiatives. Ms. Bradsher earned her M.A. in Strategic Communications from George Washington University and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received numerous military awards, including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. She and her husband, Colonel (Retired) John Bradsher, have three children.

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi is the former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo (2006 to 2019), a Fortune 50 company with operations in over 180 countries. In this role, Nooyi was the chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do what’s right for the business by being responsive to the needs of the world around us. As part of this pledge, PepsiCo was focused on delivering sustained growth by making more nutritious products, limiting its environmental footprint and protecting the planet, and empowering its associates and people in the communities it serves. During her tenure, PepsiCo’s net revenue grew more than 80%, and PepsiCo’s total shareholder return was 162%.

Before joining PepsiCo in 1994, Nooyi held senior positions at The Boston Consulting Group, Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri.

Currently, Nooyi is a board member of the Partnership for Public Service and a member of the board and audit committee of Amazon. She is a member of the International Advisory Council of Temasek and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and is an independent director of the International Cricket Council. She is also a member of the dean’s advisory council at MIT’s School of Engineering and a member of the MIT Corporation. Additionally, she is the class of 1951’s chair for the study of leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In this role, she helps enhance the institution’s ability to develop leaders of character.  

Nooyi has received many prizes, accolades and honorary degrees over the years. In 2007, the Government of India awarded her the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian honor. In 2007, she was named an “outstanding American by choice” by the State Department. In 2019, her portrait was inducted into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery for her accomplishments and positive impact on America’s shared history, development and culture.

She holds a B.S. from Madras Christian College, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, and a M.A. in public and private management from Yale University. Nooyi is married and has two daughters.

Daniel Werfel, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Danny Werfel serves as the 50th Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. As Commissioner, he presides over the nation's tax system, which collects approximately $4.1 trillion in tax revenue each year representing about 96% of the total gross receipts of the United States. Commissioner Werfel oversees an agency of about 85,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $12 billion.

Commissioner Werfel has an extensive range of experience inside and outside of government. Prior to becoming Commissioner, he was the global leader of Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) Public Sector practice. Previously, he was the leader of BCG's Public Sector practice in North America. In these roles, he worked with government agencies worldwide on finances, service delivery, transformation plans and risk-assessment initiatives.

Before joining BCG in 2014, Commissioner Werfel served in the federal government for more than 15 years, including seven months as Acting Commissioner of the IRS from May to December 2013. Prior to his appointment as Acting Commissioner, he was Controller of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he led efforts across the federal government to improve program integrity, including all areas of financial management, financial reporting, accounting standards, improper payments and financial systems, among others. During his tenure as Controller, Commissioner Werfel assumed the responsibility of Deputy Director of Management, where he oversaw governmentwide efforts to reform and improve personnel, IT, acquisition and performance management. While at OMB, he also served as Deputy Controller, Chief of the Financial Integrity and Analysis Branch, Budget Examiner in the Education Branch, and Policy Analyst in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. During his time at OMB, Commissioner Werfel served under nine different directors in both Republican and Democratic administrations. He has also served as a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.

Commissioner Werfel has received both national and local awards from the Association of Government Accountants for his contributions to Federal financial management. He received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 2008. He also served as a member of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board from 2006 to 2009 and the Defense Business Board from 2014 to 2016. 

Commissioner Werfel holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Duke University, a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.