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Patrick Dunne Designated VA’s Acting Benefits Chief

April 2, 2008, 08:00:00 AM

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Peake: A Veteran Dedicated to the Welfare of Veterans

WASHINGTON – Patrick W. Dunne, a retired Navy rear admiral and a senior official within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), was designated by President Bush to serve as the Department’s Acting Under Secretary for Benefits.

In this capacity, Dunne will be responsible for a $52 billion budget that provides compensation and pensions to nearly 4 million veterans and survivors, along with administering the successful Montgomery GI Bill educational program, VA’s home loan guaranties, one of the nation’s largest life insurance programs and other veterans’ benefits.

“Pat Dunne is a veteran who is dedicated to the welfare of other veterans,” said Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “He is a respected leader inside and outside of government.  With his experience, insight and commitment, America’s veterans are in good hands.”

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Dunne spent 33 years on active duty.  He commanded the attack submarine Baltimore and U.S. naval forces in the Marianas.  Since August 2006, he has served as VA’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning.

Dunne replaces retired Navy Vice Admiral Daniel L. Cooper, who announced Feb. 28 he would be leaving VA on April 1 after six years managing the Department’s benefits programs.  

A search commission, led by VA’s Deputy Secretary Gordon H. Mansfield, is in the process of identifying candidates for Cooper’s permanent replacement.  Under federal law, the search commission must recommend at least three candidates to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who forwards the list to the President along with any recommendations by the Secretary.

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