Former Director, Department of Veterans Affairs, New York Regional Office


Senior Executive Service, Public Administration, Public Policy, Political Science, American State and Local Government, Bureaucracy, Organization Development, Leadership



Amberg-Blyskal teaches the MPP Capstone course, Policy Analysis Project. Pat received a Ph.D. at Temple University in May 2018. Her dissertation, Public Pensions: Retrenchment or Investment? Evidence from the States investigates the funding and underfunding of pensions following the 2008 recession. Prior to returning to graduate school, Ms. Amberg-Blyskal completed a thirty-year career in federal service. 

Pat was appointed to the Senior Executive Service during the Clinton Administration and served as Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New York Regional Office from 1998 to 2009. The New York Regional Office administers veterans’ benefits for the 31 Eastern counties of New York, within which nearly 800,000 veterans reside. In that position, Pat directed a staff of approximately 300 employees with an annual operating budget of approximately $17 million with benefit outlays more than $750 million. The New York Regional Office during Pat’s tenure was nationally recognized for innovative approaches to serving veterans including collaborating with VA Medical Centers to identify Vietnam veterans who were entitled to, but not receiving, benefits and partnering with the Prudential Life Insurance Company’s Service Members Group Life Insurance staff to train spinal cord injured veterans to work as VA call center employees.  In addition to her leadership responsibilities with the VA, Pat served as Chair of the New York Federal Executive Board, a consortium of Federal agencies in the NY metropolitan area.  

Prior to her position as Director, Pat served as the Assistant Director of the New York Regional Office from 1994 to 1998. In that role, she served as Chief Operating Officer for the Regional Office and led organizational redesign efforts that resulted in the office receiving the first “Hammer Award” given to any agency by Vice President Gore.  Pat led the effort to design a “Balanced Scorecard” for evaluating performance which was adopted nationwide by the Veterans Benefits Administration. The development of new measures for all operating divisions within a Regional Office resulted in the Office of Management and Budget selecting the New York office to serve as a Pilot Site for Government Performance and Results Act implementation.

Ms. Amberg-Blyskal began her federal career with the Social Security Administration in 1979.  In 1980 she accepted a Veterans Benefits Counselor position with the Veterans Administration (renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989).  Her early VA positions included assignments in human resources, finance, program analysis, administration, and information technology.

Ms. Amberg-Blyskal holds a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University, a Master of Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University, a Master of Education in Adult and Organizational Development, a Master of Political Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy of Political Science from Temple University.  

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Public Pensions: Retrenchment or Investment? Evidence from the States. 2018. Dissertation. Proquest Theses and Dissertations.

Courses Taught

  • American State and Local Government (Political Science)
  • Bureaucracy and Public Management (Master of Public Policy)
  • Program Evaluation (Master of Public Policy)
  • The Making of American Society (Political Science)
  • Local Government and Community Advocacy (Political Science)
  • Interpersonal Communications (Adult and Organizational Development, College of Education)
  • Policy Analysis Project (Master of Public Policy)