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United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.svg
Seal of the Department
Flag of the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.svg
Flag of the Secretary
Robert Wilkie

since July 30, 2018
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
StyleMr. Secretary
The Honorable
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument38 U.S.C. § 303
FormationMarch 15, 1989
First holderEd Derwinski
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level I

The United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs is the head of the United States 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[2]). Until the appointment of David Shulkin in 2017, all appointees and acting appointees to the post were 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[3] or any other person designated by the President serves as Acting Secretary[3] until the President nominates and the United States Senate confirms a new Secretary.

List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs


  No party (2)   Democratic (2)   Republican (6)

  Denotes Acting Secretary
No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office President(s)
Ed derwinski.jpg
Ed Derwinski Illinois March 15, 1989 September 26, 1992 George H. W. Bush
Anthony Principi.jpg
Anthony Principi[1]
California September 26, 1992 January 20, 1993
Jesse brown va.jpg
Jesse Brown Illinois January 22, 1993 July 1, 1997 Bill Clinton
Gober sm.jpg
Hershel W. Gober[2]
Arkansas July 1, 1997 January 2, 1998
Togo D. West Jr. District of Columbia January 2, 1998[3] May 5, 1998
May 5, 1998 July 25, 2000
Gober sm.jpg
Hershel W. Gober[2]
Arkansas July 25, 2000 January 20, 2001
Anthony Principi.jpg
Anthony Principi California January 23, 2001 January 26, 2005 George W. Bush
Jim Nicholson Colorado January 26, 2005 October 1, 2007
Gordon H. Mansfield.jpg
Gordon H. Mansfield[4]
Florida October 1, 2007 December 20, 2007
James Peake District of Columbia December 20, 2007 January 20, 2009
Eric Shinseki official Veterans Affairs portrait.jpg
Eric Shinseki Hawaii January 20, 2009 May 30, 2014 Barack Obama
Sloan Gibson.jpg
Sloan D. Gibson
Alabama May 30, 2014 July 30, 2014
Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait.jpg
Bob McDonald Ohio July 30, 2014 January 20, 2017
Robert Snyder.jpg
Robert Snyder
West Virginia January 20, 2017 February 14, 2017 Donald Trump
David Shulkin official photo (cropped).jpg
David Shulkin Pennsylvania February 14, 2017 March 28, 2018
Robert L. Wilkie acting SECVA official photo (cropped).jpg
Robert Wilkie
North Carolina March 28, 2018 May 29, 2018
Peter O'Rourke official photo (cropped).jpg
Peter O'Rourke
Virginia May 29, 2018 July 30, 2018
Robert Wilkie official portrait (cropped).jpg
Robert Wilkie North Carolina July 30, 2018 Incumbent

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.[4]

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

4 Gordon H. Mansfield served as Acting Secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs October 1 – December 20, 2007.[7]

Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs

As of November 2020, there are six living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs (with all Secretaries that have served since 2001 still living), the oldest being Jim Nicholson (served 2005–2007, born 1938). The most recent Secretary of Veterans Affairs to die, as well as the recently serving Secretary to die, was Togo D. West Jr. (served 1998–2000, born 1942), on March 8, 2018.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
Anthony Principi 2001–2005 (1944-04-16) April 16, 1944 (age 76)
Jim Nicholson 2005–2007 (1938-02-04) February 4, 1938 (age 82)
James Peake 2007–2009 (1944-06-18) June 18, 1944 (age 76)
Eric Shinseki 2009–2014 (1942-11-28) November 28, 1942 (age 77)
Robert A. McDonald 2014–2017 (1953-06-20) June 20, 1953 (age 67)
David Shulkin 2017–2018 (1959-07-22) July 22, 1959 (age 61)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Public Law 109-177 §.503
  3. ^ a b 38 U.S.C. § 304: Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Accessed January 13, 2008.
  4. ^ "Gober Takes Over Top Spot at VA" (Press release). Department of Veterans Affairs. July 25, 2000. Archived from the original on July 13, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
  5. ^ "President Clinton Names Togo D. West Jr. As Acting Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans' Affairs" (Press release). White House. December 2, 1997. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  6. ^ Staff (May 1999). "The Honorable Togo D. West Jr". United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Archived from the original on March 4, 2000. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  7. ^ UPI. Peake sworn in as VA secretary Archived February 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, December 20, 2007. Accessed December 21, 2007.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Betsy DeVos
as Secretary of Education
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
Kirstjen Nielsen
as Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Education
Betsy Devos
17th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Homeland Security
Kirstjen Nielsen
This page was last edited on 31 August 2020, at 14:02
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