Chairwoman and New Members Appointed to VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

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WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the appointment of a new chairwoman and four new members to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises the VA Secretary on issues and programs of importance to women Veterans, their families and caregivers.  

“As VA continues to work toward modernization, the committee’s guidance will assist the department in meeting the important and evolving needs of women Veterans,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The new chairwoman and new appointees’ deep and broad perspectives are invaluable in anticipating these needs.” 

 Established in 1983, the committee provides policy and legislative recommendations to the Secretary. 

Current member Octavia Harris, a retired U.S. Navy command master chief petty officer from San Antonio, Texas, is appointed as the new chairwoman of the committee.  The following are new members of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans: 

  • Moses McIntosh, of Hephzibah, Georgia, is a retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer and immediate past national commander of the Disabled American Veterans, where he served as the official spokesman and provided leadership to the National Executive Committee. 

  • Yareli Mendoza, of Iowa City, Iowa, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. She is 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 a U.S. Army Veteran with deployments in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. She serves as the assistant director for Women and Minority Veterans Outreach at the American Legion. 

  • Wanda Wright, of Tempe, Arizona, is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, currently serving as the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, where she is a state cabinet member, providing leadership and direction for administering benefits and services to Veterans and their dependents. 

In addition, committee members Dr. Kailyn Bobb, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, from Plumas Lake, California, and Commander Janet West, of the U.S. Navy, are reappointed for an additional term. 

For information about VA’s benefits and services for women Veterans, visit www.va.gov/womenvet or contact the Women Veterans Call Center at 855-829-6636.  The call center is available to address concerns of women Veterans, their families and caregivers from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), and Saturday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (EST). 

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