United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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United States
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
US-DeptOfVeteransAffairs-Seal.svg
Official Seal
Eric Shinseki official Veterans Affairs portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Eric Ken Shinseki

since January 20, 2009
Formation March 15, 1989
First holder Ed Derwinski
Succession Seventeenth
Website www.va.gov

The United States Secretary of Veterans' Affairs is the head of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the department in charge of taking care of the affairs of war veterans. 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 United States Department of Homeland Security was added 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 position of Secretary is vacant, the United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs[2] or another person picked by the President serves as Acting Secretary[2] until the President picks and the United States Senate confirms a new Secretary.

On December 8, 2008, President Barack Obama announced that he would pick retired army General Eric Shinseki to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 2009.[3]

List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs[change | change source]

No. Name Portrait Term of Office President(s) served under
1 Ed Derwinski Ed Derwinski March 15, 1989 – September 26, 1992 George H. W. Bush
2 Jesse Brown Jesse Brown January 22, 1993 – July 3, 1997 Bill Clinton
3 Togo D. West, Jr. Togo D. West, Jr January 2, 19981 – July 25, 2000
- Hershel W. Gober2 Hershel W. Gober July 25, 2000 – January 20, 2001
4 Anthony Principi Anthony Principi January 23, 2001 – January 26, 2005 George W. Bush
5 Jim Nicholson Jim Nicholson January 26, 2005 – October 1, 2007
6 LT GEN (Ret.) James Peake James Peake December 20, 2007 – January 20, 2009
7 GEN (Ret.) Eric Ken Shinseki Eric Ken Shinseki January 20, 2009 – present Barack Obama

^  West served as acting Secretary from January 2, 1998[4] to May 5, 1998.[5]
^  Acting secretary.[6]

Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs[change | change source]

References[change | change source]