Tracey Betts was appointed as the Director of the VA Manila Regional Benefit Office and Outpatient Clinic on June 24, 2018. The Manila Office is the Department’s only office located in a foreign country; therefore, Ms. Betts also serves as the United States Attaché for Veterans Affairs at the United States Embassy in the Philippines. In this role, Ms. Betts provides executive direction to 175 employees who administer medical and non-medical benefits to Veterans, their dependents, and their survivors residing in the Philippines to include disability compensation, pension, and the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) benefits. Monthly monetary disbursements total $20.7 million for approximately 13,000 beneficiaries throughout the Philippines. The clinic provides outpatient medical services for service connected eligible Veterans. VA services are provided within an annual operating budget of $18.7 million.
Ms. Betts has over 36 years of experience in the Veterans Benefits Administration, having worked at both the field and headquarters levels. She began her career in 1983, as a clerk typist at the Houston Regional Office, and later transitioned to VA Central Office as a Systems and Procedures Analyst with the Office of Financial Management crafting financial policy. Ms. Betts has served as a mentor for the Presidential Management Fellows and Leadership Development Programs.
Ms. Betts was born in Guam and grew up on Wake Island and Kwajalein. She is a native Hawaiian graduate of the Kamehameha Schools. Ms. Betts has two adult children, and resides in Manila with her husband Charles.
Kevin J. McAllister was selected as the Assistant Director of the VA Manila Regional Benefit Office and Outpatient Clinic on 16 September 2018. The Manila Office is the Department’s only office located in a foreign country; therefor, Mr. McAllister also serves as an Embassy Officer for the United States Embassy in the Philippines. As the Assistant Director, Mr. McAllister is responsible for day to day operations of 175 employees who administer medical and non-medical benefits to Veterans, their dependents, and their survivors residing in the Philippines to include disability compensation, pension, education, veteran readiness and the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) benefits.
Kevin is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps (four years) and the United States Army (six years) and has over 23 years of total federal service. He began his career with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) in 2008, as a Loan Specialist with VBA’s Loan Guaranty Service in the Specially Adapted Housing Programs policy and procedures division at VBA Central Office, Washington, DC. He transitioned to the Office of Management as a Management and Program Analyst in March of 2012. In this role he served as a senior advisor to the Director, Office of Management supporting the areas of Employee Development and Training, Acquisition, Administration and Facilities, Human Resources.
Kevin’s other professional accomplishments include the completion of the Partnership for Public Service- Excellence In Government Fellows leadership program (2016) and VBA’s Leadership Development Program (2011). He has also served on details as the Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Administration and Facilities (2018), Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Management (2016), Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Field Operations (2015), and Acting Chief of Administrations (2014).
Mr. McAllister was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has three adult children. He currently resides in Manila with his wife Lucenia “Vicky” who was born in the Philippines
In April 2019, Daniel Gutkoski, MHA, was appointed as the Health System Administrator (Clinic Manager) for the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic. In this role, he is responsible for the daily operations of VA’s only clinical location outside of the United States and its territories. The VA Manila Outpatient Clinic provides service-connected health care benefits to more than 6,000 unique Veterans annually.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Gutkoski served in other administrative and clinical positions of increasing responsibility across VA. From 2013 to 2019, he was the Health System Specialist and Executive Assistant for the Office of Geriatrics & Extended Care, Veterans Health Administration, VA Central Office in Washington, DC. In this role, he assisted the program office’s Executive Director with the daily operations of the program office, working with more than 30 employees and an annual budget in excess of $25 million dollars. From 2011 – 2013, he served as the Administrative Officer for the Pharmacy Service at the VA Portland Healthcare System, where he coordinated budget and human resource functions for a three division, multi-campus hospital pharmacy. During this time, he also served on a four-month detail to VA Central Office as a Health System Specialist to the Veterans Health Administration Chief of Staff, the primary advisory to VA’s Under Secretary for Health. In this role, he developed a significant background and knowledge of the national leadership and strategic priorities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mr. Gutkoski participated in several internship programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, working at VA facilities in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, while pursuing his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Mr. Gutkoski completed his undergraduate degree in Gerontology and Health Care Policy at Ithaca College, and graduate degrees in Health Services Administration from The Ohio State University and Gerontology from the University of Southern California. He is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, and enjoys travelling throughout the Philippines and Southeast Asia in his free time.
Paul is a veteran of the United States Army and comes from a military family. His father was a Vietnam veteran and his Grandfather served in World War II.
Paul has a long history of serving veterans. He began his career as a County Veterans Service Officer in Stokes County, North Carolina where he was born and raised. His was chosen as the National Assistant Director of Membership and Internal Affairs for the American Legion. After traveling the country, Paul returned to North Carolina and served as a District Service Officer with the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs in the Charlotte North Carolina office. Soon after, he was chosen to become a State Service Officer assisting veterans with claims and appeals. This opportunity afforded Paul to become more involved in the process of serving veterans as the office was co-located with VA Regional Office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Paul began his career with VA as a Veteran Service Representative in the Winston-Salem Regional Office in July 2007. He attained the title of Certified Veterans Service Representative (Authorizer) prior to his appointment into management as Assistant Coach, Coach, and Acting Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager. His areas of expertise include Post-Determination, Training, Quick Start, IPC, VSC Core, and Non-Rating Teams.
Paul’s other professional accomplishments include participation in the Winston-Salem Regional Office local Leadership Development Program; member of the national Pre-Discharge Redesign Committee, representing Winston Salem; member of the VBMS Requirements group for Pre-Discharge; and was chosen as a member of the Director’s Innovation Committee. Paul has an extensive background planning and attending veterans’ outreach events.
Paul is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Management.
Christian Mejia reported to the Manila Regional Office & Outpatient Clinic as Chief of the Support Services Division (SSD) on January 23, 2017. He serves as the station’s Chief of Finance, Administration, Logistics, and Facilities Support for VBA and VHA operations.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Mejia served as a Systems and Procedures Analyst in the Office of Resource Management at VA Central Office. In this position, he provided financial policy assistance and program oversight at various levels of the organization. Mr. Mejia managed the VBA-wide travel card and travel policy programs, and provided assistance to quality assurance teams during VBA site visits. Christian’s other responsibilities included assisting with VBA’s effort to reduce improper payments in compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA), assisting with the VBA-wide purchase card program, and serving as a Subject Matter Expert in VA-wide financial policy rewrite workgroups.
Mr. Mejia began his career with the Veterans Benefits Administration in 2006 with the Seattle Regional Office, and held positions in Finance and Accounting before becoming an Administrative Officer. In this position, he supported financial policy and process implementation and oversight. Christian managed multiple programs and projects at the RO including local implementation of financial systems, administrative systems, and minor construction and space layout projects.
Mr. Mejia is a graduate of the 2011 VBA Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) Program, and has completed the VHA VISN 20 Supervisory Skills Training Program. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance from Seattle University and is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Public Administration.