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Anthony Principi

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Anthony Principi
Official portrait, 2001
4th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In office
January 23, 2001 – January 26, 2005
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byTogo West
Succeeded byJim Nicholson
In office
September 26, 1992 – January 20, 1993
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byEd Derwinski
Succeeded byJesse Brown
1st United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In office
March 17, 1989 – September 26, 1992
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHershel Gober
Personal details
Anthony Joseph Principi

(1944-04-16) April 16, 1944 (age 80)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUnited States Naval Academy (BS)
Seton Hall University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1967–1980
RankLieutenant Commander
Battles/warsVietnam War

Anthony Joseph Principi (born April 16, 1944) is the former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was appointed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001, and resigned on January 26, 2005. He Chaired the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, BRAC and is currently serving as a Consultant & Board member of several diverse Foundations & Corporations.

Early life[edit]

Principi was born in the East Bronx[1] on April 16, 1944. He grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and attended St. Anastasia School there during his younger years.[2] He graduated from Mount Saint Michael Academy in 1962 as the school's top athlete and student council president.[1] In 1967, Principi graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He first saw active duty aboard the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy. Principi later served in the Vietnam War,[1] commanding a River Patrol Unit in the Mekong Delta.

Principi earned his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall in 1975,[1] transferred from the Unrestricted Line as a Surface Warfare Officer to the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAGC) and was assigned to the United States Navy's JAGC office in San Diego. In 1980, he was transferred to Washington as a legislative counsel for the Department of the Navy. He left active duty in 1980 after 14 years of commissioned service to serve as Republican counsel to the Senate Armed Services Committee at the invitation of Senator John Tower of Texas.[3]


Principi speaking to soldiers in Iraq

Principi has worked on national policy issues and has held several executive-level positions in federal government throughout his career. He chaired the Federal Quality Institute in 1991, and was chairman of the Commission on Servicemembers and Veterans Transition Assistance established by Congress in 1996.

Principi served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, VA's second-highest executive position, from March 17, 1989, to September 26, 1992, when he was named Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs by President George H. W. Bush. He served in that position until January 1993. Following that appointment, he served as Republican chief counsel and staff director of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services.

From 1984 to 1988, he served as Republican chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He was the Veterans Administration's assistant deputy administrator for congressional and public affairs from 1983 to 1984, following three years as counsel to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

On March 15, 2005, President George W. Bush appointed nine members to serve on the 2005 BRAC Commission, with Principi to serve as the chairman.[4] In October 2015, Principi was elected to the board of directors of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Gittrich, Greg (January 19, 2001). "CABINET PICK WAS BX. BOY". Daily News. New York. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  2. ^ Gittrich, Greg. "Cabinet Pick Was Bx. Boy", Daily News (New York), January 19, 2001. Accessed September 14, 2011. "A former principal at Mount Saint Michael, Magee said Principi rarely had time to make the half-hour ride to his parents' home on Winthrop Road in Teaneck, N.J."
  3. ^ "Anthony Principi '67, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Biography". USNAAAA. Archived from the original on October 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Lockwood, David E. (June 1, 2005). "Military Base Closures: Implementing the 2005 Round" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. RL32216.
  5. ^ Staff (October 1, 2015). "People". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (Paper). Vol. 35, no. 17. p. 49. Imprimis Pharmaceuticals elected Anthony J. Principi to its board of directors

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Cabinet Member Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Cabinet Member
Succeeded byas Former US Cabinet Member