Illinois’ veterans affairs director Tammy Duckworth has been selected as the nominee for assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs for the VA, the White House announced Tuesday morning.
Duckworth is a well-known major in the Illinois National Guard who lost both of her legs in 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter she was piloting in Iraq.
As assistant secretary, Duckworth will oversee the public affairs department, internal communications and intergovernmental relations. She will also oversee programs for homeless veterans, special rehabilitation events and consumer affairs.
Duckworth has testified before congressional hearings about the need to transform the VA to accommodate the needs of soldiers returning from the Middle East.
The VA system faces new challenges as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan … The patient profile is changing. More wounded soldiers are surviving very serious injuries.”
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has not scheduled a hearing yet for Duckworth’s confirmation.