Four new members have been appointed to VA’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises the secretary on issues and programs impacting women Veterans. Chartered in 1983, the committee conducts meetings and site visits in order to make policy recommendations as well as legislative changes. Previous minutes and reports are available online.
“As VA continues to work toward modernization, the committee’s guidance will assist the department in implementing informed transitions to meet the evolving needs of women Veterans,” VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin said in a statement announcing the new members. “The new appointees’ diverse perspectives are invaluable in anticipating these needs.”
The new members are:
Moses McIntosh of Hephzibah, Georgia is a retired chief warrant officer and a former national commander of the Disabled American Veterans, where he served as the official spokesman of the organization and provided leadership to its national executive committee.
Yareli Mendoza of Iowa City, Iowa is an Air Force Veteran currently pursuing a doctorate of philosophy degree in higher education and student affairs with a specialization in higher education administration and policy.
Keronica Richardson of Gaithersburg, Maryland is an Army Veteran with deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently serves as the assistant director for women and minority Veterans outreach at The American Legion.
Wanda Wright of Tempe, Arizona is a retired Air Force colonel, currently serving as the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, where she is a state cabinet member and provides leadership and direction for administering benefits and services to Veterans and their dependents.
Current member Octavia Harris, a retired Navy command master chief petty officer, was appointed chair of the committee. Members Dr. Kailyn Bobb, and Air Force Veteran, and Navy Commander Janet West were each reappointed for an additional term.
I extend my very sincere gratitude to outgoing chair, retired Army Colonel Mary Westmoreland, as well as Army Veteran Keith Howard-Streicher, retired Army Colonel Edna Boyd Jones, and retired Army Captain Leslie Smith for completing their dedicated, selfless service on the committee.
The contributions of a variety of subject matter experts from a wide range of backgrounds on an array of federal advisory committees are a key component of VA’s overall strategy to achieve stakeholder and public engagement in its efforts and commitment to serve Veterans, their families, and survivors. I encourage those interested in serving in this capacity to visit the VA Advisory Committee Management Office website to learn more.