Anthony Principi

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The Honorable
Anthony Joseph Principi
Anthony Principi.jpg
4th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In office
January 23, 2001 – January 26, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Hershel W. Gober (acting)
Succeeded by Robert James Nicholson
Acting United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In office
September 26, 1992 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Ed Derwinski
Succeeded by Jesse Brown
Personal details
Born (1944-04-16) April 16, 1944 (age 71)
New York City, NY
Political party Republican
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Seton Hall
Military service
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1967–1980
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Anthony Joseph Principi (born April 16, 1944) was the 4th 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 is currently a lobbyist for Pfizer and chairman of QTC Management, a company that works on contracts for the Veterans Affairs Department.[1]

Early life[edit]

Principi was born in the East Bronx[2] on April 16, 1944. He grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and attended St. Anastasia School there during his younger years.[3] He graduated from Mount Saint Michael Academy in 1962 as the school's top athlete and student council president.[2] 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,[2] commanding a River Patrol Unit in the Mekong Delta.

Principi earned his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall in 1975[2] and was assigned to the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps in San Diego. In 1980, he was transferred to Washington as a legislative counsel for the Department of the Navy.


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]

Political controversy[edit]

On March 29, 2008, The Los Angeles Times reported that, "The California company headed by former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi overcharged the agency some $6 million under a long-term contract to conduct physical evaluations on veterans applying for disability benefits" in a recent government audit.[5]


  1. ^ Schouten, Fredreka (May 19, 2009). "Several Bush officials work in areas related to former jobs". USA Today. Retrieved February 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gittrich, Greg (January 19, 2001). "CABINET PICK WAS BX. BOY". New York: Daily News. Retrieved February 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^
  5. ^ Roche, Walter (March 29, 2008). "Veterans Affairs was overcharged about $6 million, audit finds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2010. [dead link]
Government offices
Preceded by
Hershel W. Gober
U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Served under: George W. Bush

Succeeded by
Jim Nicholson
Preceded by
Ed Derwinski
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Succeeded by
Jesse Brown