The No. 2 official at the Department of Veterans Affairs is leaving, the agency announced today.

W. Scott Gould will be leaving May 17, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement:

“After four years of serving Veterans with distinction, Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould – my fellow Veteran, colleague and friend – has submitted his resignation, effective May 17. His unwavering leadership and dedication to Veterans and their families has strengthened our ability to carry out VA’s mission – providing Veterans the healthcare and benefits they have earned.

“A Veteran of the U.S. Navy, Scott has fought to improve the lives of his fellow Veterans, and we’ve worked together to make long-term, transformational changes to the department. Because of his leadership and his insight from both the public and private sectors, this department is better positioned to take care of Veterans for decades to come. As the chief operating officer of the federal government’s second largest department, Scott has been vital to the progress we’ve made on our top three priorities: increasing access to VA care and services, eliminating the compensation claims backlog, and ending Veterans’ homelessness. While we have more work to do, Scott’s contributions have been immense.

“We at VA will miss his advocacy and dedication, but we also wish him the very best in the years to come.”