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United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Flag of the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.svg
Flag of the Secretary
Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.svg
Seal of the Department
Secretary McDonough, official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Denis McDonough

since February 9, 2021
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Style Mr. Secretary
(informal)
The Honorable
(formal)
Member of Cabinet
Reports to President of the United States
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 Seventeenth
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Salary Executive Schedule, level I

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.

List of Secretaries of Veterans Affairs

      No party (2)       Democratic (3)       Republican (6)      Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs     Nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs

No. Secretary Term of office President(s)
Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office Term length
1 Ed derwinski.jpg Ed Derwinski Illinois March 15, 1989 September 26, 1992 3 years, 195 days George H. W. Bush
Anthony Principi.jpg Anthony Principi
Acting
California September 26, 1992 January 20, 1993 116 days
2 Jesse brown va.jpg Jesse Brown Illinois January 22, 1993 July 1, 1997 4 years, 160 days Bill Clinton
Gober sm.jpg Hershel W. Gober
Acting
Arkansas July 1, 1997 January 2, 1998 185 days
3 TogoDWest.jpg Togo D. West Jr. District of Columbia January 2, 1998 May 5, 1998 123 days
May 5, 1998 July 25, 2000 2 years, 81 days
Gober sm.jpg Hershel W. Gober
Acting
Arkansas July 25, 2000 January 20, 2001 179 days
4 Anthony Principi.jpg Anthony Principi California January 23, 2001 January 26, 2005 4 years, 3 days George W. Bush
5 JimNicholson.jpg Jim Nicholson Colorado January 26, 2005 October 1, 2007 2 years, 248 days
Gordon H. Mansfield.jpg Gordon H. Mansfield
Acting
Florida October 1, 2007 December 20, 2007 80 days
6 PeakeJames.jpg James Peake District of Columbia December 20, 2007 January 20, 2009 1 year, 31 days
7 Eric Shinseki official Veterans Affairs portrait.jpg Eric Shinseki Hawaii January 20, 2009 May 30, 2014 5 years, 130 days Barack Obama
Sloan Gibson.jpg Sloan D. Gibson
Acting
Alabama May 30, 2014 July 30, 2014 61 days
8 Robert A. McDonald Official Portrait.jpg Bob McDonald Ohio July 30, 2014 January 20, 2017 2 years, 174 days
Robert Snyder.jpg Robert Snyder
Acting
West Virginia January 20, 2017 February 14, 2017 25 days Donald Trump
9 David Shulkin official photo (cropped).jpg David Shulkin Pennsylvania February 14, 2017 March 28, 2018 1 year, 42 days
Robert L. Wilkie acting SECVA official photo (cropped).jpg Robert Wilkie
Acting
North Carolina March 28, 2018 May 29, 2018 62 days
Peter O'Rourke official photo (cropped).jpg Peter O'Rourke
Acting
Virginia May 29, 2018 July 30, 2018 62 days
10 Robert Wilkie official portrait (cropped).jpg Robert Wilkie North Carolina July 30, 2018 January 20, 2021 2 years, 174 days
Dat Tran Dept of Vet Affairs.jpg Dat Tran
Acting
January 20, 2021 February 9, 2021 20 days Joe Biden
11 Secretary McDonough, official photo.jpg Denis McDonough Minnesota February 9, 2021 Incumbent 347 days

Anthony Principi served as Acting Secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs September 26, 1992 – January 20, 1993.

Hershel W. Gober served as Acting Secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs July 1, 1997 – January 2, 1998 and July 25, 2000 – January 20, 2001.

West served as Acting Secretary from January 2, 1998 to May 5, 1998.

Gordon H. Mansfield served as Acting Secretary in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs October 1 – December 20, 2007.

Living former Secretaries of Veterans Affairs

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