United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America|
Flag of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs
|U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs|
|Reports to||The President|
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Constituting instrument||38 U.S.C. § 303|
|Formation||March 15, 1989|
|First holder||Ed Derwinski|
(presidential line of succession)
|Deputy||Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level 1|
The United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs is the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the department concerned with veterans' benefits and related matters. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and second to last at 17th 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). 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 or any other person designated by the President serves as Acting Secretary 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.
List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of Residence||Took Office||Left Office||President(s)|
|1||Ed Derwinski||Illinois||March 15, 1989||September 26, 1992||George H. W. Bush|
|California||September 26, 1992||January 20, 1993|
|2||Jesse Brown||Illinois||January 22, 1993||July 1, 1997||Bill Clinton|
|–||Hershel W. Gober
|Arkansas||July 1, 1997||January 2, 1998|
|3||Togo D. West, Jr.||District of Columbia||January 2, 1998||May 5, 1998|
|May 5, 1998||July 25, 2000|
|–||Hershel W. Gober
|Arkansas||July 25, 2000||January 20, 2001|
|4||Anthony Principi||California||January 23, 2001||January 26, 2005||George W. Bush|
Colonel, USA (Ret.)
|Colorado||January 26, 2005||October 1, 2007|
|–||Gordon H. Mansfield
|Florida||October 1, 2007||December 20, 2007|
|6||James B. Peake,
Lt.Gen., USA (Ret.)
|District of Columbia||December 20, 2007||January 20, 2009|
General, USA (Ret.)
|Hawaii||January 20, 2009||Incumbent||Barack Obama|
Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs
- Administrator of Veterans Affairs (United States)
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- Veterans Health Administration
Notes and references
- Public Law 109-177§.503
- : Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Accessed 2008-01-13.
- "Gober Takes Over Top Spot at VA" (Press release). Department of Veterans Affairs. 2000-07-25. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- "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.
- 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.
- UPI. Peake sworn in as VA secretary, Dec 20, 2007. Accessed 21 Dec 2007.
|United States presidential line of succession|
Secretary of Education
|17th in line||Succeeded by
Secretary of Homeland Security