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Barbara C. Morton has served as the Deputy Chief Veteran Experience Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) since July 2016.  She is responsible for building a lasting customer experience capability at the VA and sharing best practices across other federal agencies.  


Barbara’s passion and persistence for driving customer experience as a core business discipline at VA began earlier in her career at VA while serving Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. She experienced first-hand the opportunity VA public servants have to make the often-times difficult or confusing interactions with VA more positive for Veterans and their supporters. Years later when the opportunity arose to serve the cause of customer experience for Veterans and their supporters in a brand new Veterans Experience Office, she took it.  


Barbara also served as the co-chair of the President’s Management Agenda Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where she amplified the importance of using customer experience practices across federal agencies to improve the delivery of their mission.  She enjoys giving her time selflessly to any agency planning to build or mature a customer experience capability and shares her lessons learned from VA and the VEO CX journey.  


Throughout this journey to improve the lives and experiences of Veterans and their supporters, she maintained her commitment to institutionalizing the Veterans Experience into the fabric of the VA. She has driven CX transformation at VA, which has included implementation of customer experience-focused agency priority goals; hardwiring CX principles into VA core values and regulations; architecting VA’s first-ever CX strategy and agency-wide Directive; and including CX in performance plans of all senior executives, among many other initiatives.  She has tirelessly championed CX at VA to embed it in the Department now and in the future, and she has partnered with CX practitioners across federal agencies to create the CX Cookbook to widely share these best practices.


In the past five years, as the constant career senior executive and a relentless CX champion at VA, Barbara and her team have supported the Department and its incredible public servants with CX data, tools, technology and engagement capabilities, and Veterans are feeling the difference ~ during this time, Veteran’s trust in VA has increased by 23%, from 55% in 2015 to 78% in 2021. Many other programs were championed and implemented by Barbara and the VEO team in partnership with other organizations in VA, including the VA’s Patient Experience Program; digital modernization strategies to align all the VA websites under a single front door on; mapping the first-ever Employee Experience Journey at VA, as well as conducting human centered design research to support the Equity Executive Order and underserved populations, including Women Veterans and Tribal Veterans.


Barbara gives all credit to her team of amazing CX practitioners and advocates ~ both within VA and across sister agencies, non-profits and public sector ~ who together are grounded in the passion to serve a cause greater than themselves by delivering exceptional experiences to Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors, and the public at large.   


It is these characteristics and accomplishments that make Barbara C. Morton this year’s government executive of the year.


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Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer, Veterans Experience Office, Department of Veterans Affairs

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