The National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) is an organization with a history dating back to 1946. In the aftermath of World War II many veterans earned State and Federal benefits which required coordinated efforts to assure that veterans received these entitlements. Thus, states developed a Department or Agency specifically to manage veterans’ affairs and carry out the responsibility for veteran services and program.

The NASDVA members represent all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Nationally, we are the second largest provider of services to veterans and our roles continue to expand.

State Directors as leaders of governmental agencies are tasked by their respective Governors, State Boards and/or Commissions with a the responsibility to address the needs of veterans regardless of age, gender, era of service, military branch or circumstance of service. Collectively, states contribute more than $6 billion annually in of our nation's veterans and their families. We are connected by the bonds of honorable service and united by our common goal to make a positive difference in the lives of our veterans.

NASDVA group photo

Meet the President

verdie Bowen, President

Verdie Bowen - President, Alaska

Mr. Verdie Bowen currently serves as the 70th President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. In 2009, he was appointed by then Governor Sarah Palin to his position in the Office of Veterans Affairs and in 2014 was reappointed by Governor Bill Walker. As Director, he is responsible for the development and establishment of polices and strategic plans that directly affect all veterans, active duty, reserve components, dependents, and survivors living in the states 348 communities. The total number of Alaskans affected by these policies and strategic plans are just over 230,000.

Since his appointment, Director Bowen has traveled to over 265 communities in Alaska. He has provided critical testimony to the US Senate on rural healthcare and helped as a member of the 13th working group to facilitate the establishment of a memorandum of agreement between Alaska Tribal Health Agencies and the Federal VA allowing veterans to receive healthcare in villages all across Alaska. In 2013, Director Bowen was appointed to the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Rural Health Advisory committee. He has also provided guidance and testimony to the Alaska State Legislator on several local veterans’ issues. To date he has provided guidance on the following passed legislation: Purple Heart Day and Purple Heart License Plates, free instate tuition for spouses and dependents of fallen service members, establishment of a new Veterans Affairs Office in Anchorage, and the establishment of Veterans Status on state driver’s license and identification cards. Currently he is working on the founding of a new state veterans cemetery in Fairbanks and the completion of federal discharges for all Alaska Territorial Guardsman who served in World War II.

As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Bowen began his military career in 1981. He served in several units as a Communications Specialist. His major assignments included the following units 366th TFW, 1879th CS, Detachment 7 2003 CG, 2007th CS, 7241st CS, 3rd CS, 5th ATAF, and the Defense Information Systems Agency. During his service, he supported the research and development of long-range communications pertaining to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). He managed the deployment of the Defense Mediterranean Improvement Satellite Program. He installed the first Alaskan bandwidth management network. He designed and installed UN and NATO telephone systems connecting commercial air traffic control towers in the old Czech Republic allowing commercial air traffic back into this theater of operations.

Mr. Bowen holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from Bellevue University in Nebraska. He is married to Catherine Bowen and they have four sons and four grandchildren.