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Center for Women Veterans (CWV)


Advisory Committee on Women Veterans


Solicitation of Nomination for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans – [06/06/2017] The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking nominees to be considered for membership on the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans (Committee) for the 2017 membership cycle.  The Committee is authorized by 38 U.S.C. 542 (Statute), to provide advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) on: The administration of VA’s benefits and services (health care, rehabilitation benefits, compensation, outreach, and other relevant programs) for women Veterans; reports and studies pertaining to women Veterans; and the needs of women Veterans.  In accordance with the Statute and the Committee’s current charter, the majority of the membership shall consist of non-Federal employees appointed by the Secretary from the general public, serving as special government employees.  Nominations for membership on the Committee must be received by June 30, 2017, no later than 4:00 p.m., eastern standard time.  Read more »

Prior News


The Advisory Committee on Women Veterans (ACWV) was established and chartered in November 1983 by Public Law 98-160.  The Advisory Committee on Women Veterans assesses the needs of women Veterans, with respect to VA programs such as compensation, rehabilitation, outreach, healthcare, etc.  The Committee reviews VA’s programs, activities, research projects and other initiatives designed to meet the needs of women Veterans; and makes recommendations to the Secretary on ways to improve, modify, and affect change in programs and services for women Veterans and follows up on all those recommendations.

Advisory Committee Reports and Meeting Minutes

The Advisory Committee prepares and issues various reports, summaries, and proceedings addressing issues related to Women Veterans.  Learn more »


Advisory Committee on Women Veterans - as of 05/10/2017

  • Mary Westmoreland (Chair), Bronxville, NY.  A retired U.S. Army Colonel, with service in Desert Storm/Desert Shield; currently provides coaching and mentorship services for government and nonprofit organizations; serves as a community and Veterans issues analyst, and strategic planning organizer.
  • Kailyn Bobb, Plumas Lake, CA. A U.S. Air Force Veteran; currently pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University.
  • Lisa Kirk Brown, Bellingham, Washington. A retired Maryland Air National Guard lieutenant colonel; currently serves as a member of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs’ Women Veterans Advisory Committee, a member of the Whatcom County Veterans Advisory Board, and a Disabled American Veterans service officer.
  • Kate Germano, Upper Marlboro, Maryland. A retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel; currently serves as chief operating officer for Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), a non-profit organization solely focused on supporting the needs of service women and women Veterans.
  • Octavia Harris, San Antonio, TX. A retired U.S. Navy Command Master Chief, with service in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom; currently serves as a Veterans’ advocate and independent consultant.
  • Keith Howard-Streicher, Alexandria, VA. A U.S. Army Veteran; currently serves as an Assistant Director, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation division, at The American Legion.
  • Edna Boyd Jones, Norcross, GA. A retired U.S. Army Colonel, with service in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom; currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Nursing at Albany State University.
  • Shannon McLaughlin, Esq., Sharon, MA. A Major serving full-time in the Massachusetts National Guard, with overseas service in Operation Enduring Freedom; currently serves as a Judge Advocate.
  • Karen O’Brien, University Place, Washington. A retired U.S. Army Colonel who deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she currently serves as a compensation and pension physician for the Veterans Benefits Administration in American Lake.
  • Leslie N. Smith,, King George, VA. A retired U.S. Army Captain; currently serves as co-founder and spokesperson for Fatigues to Fabulous, a non-profit women Veterans organization.
  • Janet M. West, Jacksonville, FL. A U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander serving on active duty, with service in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; currently serves as senior medical officer at Jacksonville Naval Air Station Branch Health Clinic.
  • Betty Yarbrough, Springfield, Virginia. A retired U. S. Army colonel, with deployments in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom; immediate past military director of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, where she served as the primary advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on all matters pertaining to women in the armed forces.