United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America
Flag of the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.svg
Flag of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
US-DeptOfVeteransAffairs-Seal.svg
Seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Robert McDonald

since July 30, 2014
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Member ofCabinet
Reports toThe President
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument38 U.S.C. § 303
FormationMarch 15, 1989
First holderEd Derwinski
SuccessionSixteenth
(Presidential Line of Succession)
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level 1
Websitewww.VA.gov
 
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Secretary of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America
Flag of the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.svg
Flag of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
US-DeptOfVeteransAffairs-Seal.svg
Seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Robert McDonald

since July 30, 2014
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Member ofCabinet
Reports toThe President
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument38 U.S.C. § 303
FormationMarch 15, 1989
First holderEd Derwinski
SuccessionSixteenth
(Presidential Line of Succession)
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level 1
Websitewww.VA.gov

The United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs is the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the department concerned with veterans' benefits, health care, and national veterans' memorials and cemeteries. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and second to last at Sixteenth in the line of succession to the presidency (the position was last until the addition of the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2006[1]). To date, all appointees and acting appointees to the post have been United States military veterans, but that is not a requirement to fill the position.

When the post of Secretary is vacant, the United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs[2] or any other person designated by the President serves as Acting Secretary[2] until the President nominates and the United States Senate confirms a new Secretary.

On December 8, 2008, U.S. President Barack Obama announced he would nominate retired U.S. Army general, Eric Shinseki, to be the 7th Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 2009.[3] General Shinseki resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on May 30, 2014, making deputy secretary Sloan Gibson the acting secretary. On June 29, 2014, President Obama nominated former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert A. McDonald to serve as VA secretary. The United States Senate confirmed McDonald on July 29, 2014.[4]

List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs[edit]

Parties

      No party       Democratic       Republican

Status
  Denotes acting Secretary
No.PortraitNameState of ResidenceTook OfficeLeft OfficePresident(s)
1Ed derwinski.jpgEd DerwinskiIllinoisMarch 15, 1989September 26, 1992George H. W. Bush
Anthony Principi.jpgAnthony Principi[1]
(acting)
CaliforniaSeptember 26, 1992January 20, 1993
2Jesse brown va.jpgJesse BrownIllinoisJanuary 22, 1993July 1, 1997Bill Clinton
Gober sm.jpgHershel W. Gober[2]
(acting)
ArkansasJuly 1, 1997January 2, 1998
3TogoDWest.jpgTogo D. West, Jr.District of ColumbiaJanuary 2, 1998[3]May 5, 1998
May 5, 1998July 25, 2000
Gober sm.jpgHershel W. Gober[2]
(acting)
ArkansasJuly 25, 2000January 20, 2001
4Anthony Principi.jpgAnthony PrincipiCaliforniaJanuary 23, 2001January 26, 2005George W. Bush
5JimNicholson.jpgJim Nicholson,
Colonel, USA (Ret.)
ColoradoJanuary 26, 2005October 1, 2007
Gordon H. Mansfield.jpgGordon H. Mansfield[4]
(acting)
FloridaOctober 1, 2007December 20, 2007
6PeakeJames.jpgJames B. Peake,
Lt.Gen., USA (Ret.)
District of ColumbiaDecember 20, 2007January 20, 2009
7Eric Shinseki official Veterans Affairs portrait.jpgEric Shinseki,
General, USA (Ret.)
HawaiiJanuary 20, 2009May 30, 2014Barack Obama
Sloan Gibson.jpgSloan D. Gibson
(acting)
AlabamaMay 30, 2014July 30, 2014
8Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait.jpgRobert McDonald,
Captain, USA (Ret.)
OhioJuly 30, 2014present

1 Anthony Principi served as acting secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs September 26, 1992—January 20, 1993.

2 Hershel W. Gober served as acting secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs July 1, 1997—January 2, 1998 and July 25, 2000—January 20, 2001.[5]

3 West served as acting Secretary from January 2, 1998[6] to May 5, 1998.[7]

4 Gordon H. Mansfield served as acting secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs October 1—December 20, 2007.[8]

Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs[edit]

As of October 2014, there are five living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs, the oldest being Jim Nicholson (2005-2007, born 1938). The most recent Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pass away was Ed Derwinski (1989-1992), on January 15, 2012.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth
Togo D. West, Jr.1998-2000(1942-06-21) June 21, 1942 (age 72)
Anthony Principi2001–2005(1944-04-16) April 16, 1944 (age 70)
Jim Nicholson2005-2007(1938-02-04) February 4, 1938 (age 76)
James Peake2007–2009(1944-06-18) June 18, 1944 (age 70)
Eric Shinseki2009–2014(1942-11-28) November 28, 1942 (age 71)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Public Law 109-177§.503
  2. ^ a b 38 U.S.C. § 304: Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Accessed 2008-01-13.
  3. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hi6r-WMKkf2LwqPLQN0PhNMabNmgD95R59EG0
  4. ^ Tritten, Travis J. (29 July 2014). "Senate confirms Robert McDonald as Secretary of Veterans Affairs". Stars and Stripes. Defense Media Activity (U.S. Department of Defense). Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Gober Takes Over Top Spot at VA" (Press release). Department of Veterans Affairs. 2000-07-25. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  6. ^ "President Clinton Names Togo D. West, Jr. As Acting Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans' Affairs" (Press release). White House. 1997-12-02. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  7. ^ Staff (May 1999). "The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr.". Department of Veterans Affairs. Archived from the original on 2000-03-04. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  8. ^ UPI. Peake sworn in as VA secretary, Dec 20, 2007. Accessed 21 Dec 2007.
United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan
17th in lineSucceeded by
Secretary of Homeland Security
Jeh Johnson