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President George W. Bush
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Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon H. Mansfield
Gordon H. Mansfield became Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs on October 1, 2007, following the resignation of Secretary Jim Nicholson.
As Acting Secretary, Mr. Mansfield is the U.S. governments principal advocate for veterans and directs the nations second largest Cabinet Department, responsible for a nationwide system of health care services, benefits programs, and national cemeteries for Americas veterans and dependents. VA employs more than 247,000 people at hundreds of medical centers, clinics, nursing homes, benefits offices, and national cemeteries throughout the country. VAs budget for fiscal year 2007 is $77.3 billion.
Prior to becoming Acting Secretary, Mr. Mansfield served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, VAs chief operating officer responsible for the delivery of benefits and health care earned by veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
Mr. Mansfield was nominated to serve as Deputy Secretary by President Bush on November 3, 2003, and confirmed by the Senate on January 22, 2004. He had previously served as VA Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs since August 1, 2001. He was legislative advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and responsible for VAs Congressional relations and for representing VA programs, policies, and legislative agenda to Congress.
Prior to joining VA, Mr. Mansfield had 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 PVAs national office in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mansfield held a number of positions at PVA from 1981 to 1989, and served as the organizations 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. Bushs Administration. Prior to 1981, he practiced law in Ocala, Florida.
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. 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 Infantrymans Badge and the Presidential Unit Citation. Mr. Mansfield was inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2007 and the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in 1997.
Mr. Mansfield was honored as the Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year at the 2006 national convention of Disabled American Veterans, and was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame in October, 2006. He is a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Villanova University Alumni Human Relations Medal.