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 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). 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 or another person picked by the President serves as Acting Secretary 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. General Shinseki resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on May 30, 2014, making deputy secretary Sloan Gibson the acting secretary. On June 29, 2014, former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert A. McDonald was nominated by Barack Obama as the next secretary.
In January 2017, physician David Shulkin was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a 100-0 vote. He was sworn in on February 14, 2017. Trump fired Shulkin on March 28, 2018. Peter O'Rourke is the current acting Secretary.
List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs[change | change source]
|No.||Name||Portrait||Term of Office||President(s) served under|
|1||Ed Derwinski||March 15, 1989 – September 26, 1992||George H. W. Bush|
|2||Jesse Brown||January 22, 1993 – July 3, 1997||Bill Clinton|
|3||Togo D. West, Jr.||January 2, 19981 – July 25, 2000|
|-||Hershel W. Gober2||July 25, 2000 – January 20, 2001|
|4||Anthony Principi||January 23, 2001 – January 26, 2005||George W. Bush|
|5||Jim Nicholson||January 26, 2005 – October 1, 2007|
|6||LT GEN (Ret.) James Peake||December 20, 2007 – January 20, 2009|
|7||GEN (Ret.) Eric Ken Shinseki||January 20, 2009 – May 30, 2014||Barack Obama|
|-||Sloan D. Gibson||May 30, 2014 - July 30, 2014|
|8||Robert A. McDonald||July 30, 2014 - January 20, 2017|
|-||Robert Snyder||January 20, 2017 - February 14, 2017||Donald Trump|
|9||David Shulkin||February 14, 2017 - March 28, 2018|
|-||Robert Wilkie||March 28, 2018 - May 29, 2018|
|-||Peter O'Rourke||May 29, 2018 - present|
Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs[change | change source]
- Edward Joseph Derwinski
- Anthony Joseph Principi
- Robert James Nicholson
- James Peake
- Robert A. McDonald
- Eric Shinseki
- David Shulkin
References[change | change source]
- Public Law 109-177§.503
- : Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Accessed 2008-01-13.
- White House (1997-12-02). "President Clinton Names Togo D. West, Jr. As Acting Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans' Affairs". Press release. http://clinton6.nara.gov/1997/12/1997-12-02-togo-west-named-acting-secretary-at-veterans-affairs.html. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
- Staff (May 1999). "The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr". Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
- Department of Veterans Affairs (2000-07-25). "Gober Takes Over Top Spot at VA". Press release. http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=203. Retrieved 2009-09-29.