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Secretary of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America
Flag of the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.svg
Flag of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait (3).jpg
Robert McDonald

since July 30, 2014
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 38 U.S.C. § 303
Formation March 15, 1989
First holder Ed Derwinski
Succession Sixteenth
(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.

List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs

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, 1998 – July 25, 2000
- Hershel W. Gober 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 – May 30, 2014 Barack Obama
- Sloan D. Gibson Sloan D. Gibson May 30, 2014 - July 30, 2014 Barack Obama
8 Robert McDonald Robert McDonald July 30, 2014 - present Barack Obama
West served as acting Secretary from January 2, 1998 to May 5, 1998.
Acting secretary.

Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs

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