NASDVA Group photo from 2022 Annual Training Conference

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 ensure 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 programming.

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 President

NASDVA President Wanda Wright
Wanda Wright – Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Director

Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Director Wanda Wright is the third generation of her family to serve in the U.S. military. As a 1985 United States Air Force Academy graduate Colonel Wright began her military career as Deputy Budget Officer with the Tactical Air Command in South Carolina. During 21 years with the Arizona National Guard, she served in various positions finishing her career as the Director of Staff for the Adjutant General in Phoenix. Colonel Wright holds a B.S. in Management from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a M.B.A from Webster University in South Carolina, a M.P.A. from the University of Arizona and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University.

Colonel Wright’s decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster. Director Wright is the President for the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs as of 27 August 2022. Director Wright was appointed to serve on the VA’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans in 2018.

Executive Committee

PresidentWanda WrightArizona
Sr. Vice PresidentJames “Hammer” HartsellFlorida
Jr. Vice PresidentZaneta Adams Michigan
SecretarySonya SmithNew Mexico
TreasurerLonnie WangenNorth Dakota
HistorianGary HarterUtah

District Vice Presidents

NortheastKasim YarnRhode Island
SoutheastPatrick FarrellVirgin Islands
MidwestDennis WimerIndiana
SouthwestNate ToddArkansas
Far WestKelly FitzpatrickOregon

Past Presidents

2021-2022Thomas PalladinoTexas
2019-2021John HilgertNebraska
2018-2019Alfie Alvarado-RamosWashington
2017-2018Verdie BowenAlaska
2016-2017Randy ReevesMississippi
2015-2016David BrasuellIdaho
2014-2015Lonnie WangenNorth Dakota
2013-2014Clyde MarshAlabama
2012-2013Jim WillisOregon
2011-2012David FletcherArkansas
2010-2011Linda SchwartzConnecticut

View our Leadership and Award History page.