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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


Gordon H. Mansfield To Become Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs

September 28, 2007

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Gordon H. Mansfield
Gordon H. Mansfield

WASHINGTON - - Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon H. Mansfield will become the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs following the resignation of Secretary Jim Nicholson.  Secretary Nicholson tendered his resignation to President Bush on July 17, 2007, to be effective no later than October 1, 2007.

Mansfield assumes the role on October 1 under the terms of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, where a Deputy Secretary begins to serve as the acting officer immediately and automatically upon the occurrence of the vacancy.  Mansfield will serve as Acting Secretary until the next nominee of the President is confirmed by the United States Senate.

Appointed by President Bush in November 2003, Deputy Secretary Mansfield served as the chief operating officer for the federal government’s second largest department, responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs and national cemeteries for America’s veterans and their dependents. 

He previously served as VA Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs since August 1, 2001, serving as the legislative advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  He was responsible for VA’s Congressional relations and representing VA programs, policies, investigations and legislative agenda to Congress.

Prior to joining VA, Mr. Mansfield served as executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) since April 1993. In that position, the highly decorated Vietnam veteran oversaw daily operation of PVA’s national office in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Mansfield held a number of positions at PVA from 1981 to 1989, and served as the organization’s first associate executive director of Government Relations.

Mr. Mansfield served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993 under President George H. W. Bush’s Administration. Prior to 1981, he practiced law in Ocala, Fla.

Mr. Mansfield received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and law degree from the University of Miami. Following his 1964 enlistment in the Army, Mr. Mansfield served two tours of duty in Vietnam. While serving as company commander with the 101st Airborne Division during his second tour, he was wounded during the Tet Offensive of 1968 sustaining a spinal cord injury. For his actions while his unit was under fire, he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest personal decoration for valor in combat. He was medically retired by the U.S. Army at the grade of Captain. His other combat decorations include the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Mr. Mansfield is a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Villanova University Alumni Human Relations Medal. He was inducted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in 1997.

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