Group photo of NASDVA members from 2022 Midwinter 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

Thomas Palladino – Texas Veterans Commission Executive Director

Tom Palladino is the current President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs and has served as the Executive Director of the Texas Veterans Commission since 2010. He provides leadership for all stakeholders within the State of Texas to accomplish its mission which is to advocate for and provide superior service to veterans that will significantly improve the quality of life for all Texas Veterans, their Families, and their survivors. 

He retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army in September 2009 after 27 years of service (1982-2009). During this time Tom Palladino served in both the active U.S. Army and the Texas Army National Guard as an Active Guard Reserve officer.

As an Armored Cavalry Officer during the Cold War, he served in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) and patrolled the East-West Germany border in the Fulda Gap. He also served as an Armored Cavalry Troop Commander in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Brave Rifles) at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

In the Texas Army National Guard, Tom Palladino served under the Adjutant General where he provided needed support and assistance to Texas National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, and military family members. He coordinated a state-wide collaborative partnership among all federal, state, and local organizations to enhance benefits and services for all military veterans and their families in the State of Texas.

He also served as an Associate Professor of Military Science (Army ROTC) at the University of Texas at Austin and an Associate Professor in Government at Austin Community College. As a Texas Public School Social Studies teacher, he taught High School and Middle School students in the Austin and Pflugerville Independent School Districts.

Tom Palladino’s education includes a BA in Political Science from Providence College and a MA in Political Science from Texas State University, Texas. Additionally, he possesses a Texas Secondary Education Teaching Certificate and Texas Public School Principal’s Certification.

His father, Victor, was a World War II Army Veteran who served in the Italian Campaign with the 5th US Army and both grandfathers were World War I Army Veterans who served with the 26th Infantry Division in France.

Executive Committee

PresidentTom PalladinoTexas
Sr. Vice PresidentWanda WrightArizona
Jr. Vice PresidentVacant
SecretaryKent DavisAlabama
TreasurerLonnie WangenNorth Dakota
HistorianGary HarterUtah

District Vice Presidents

NortheastKasim YarnRhode Island
SoutheastJ. (Hammer) HartsellFlorida
MidwestDennis WimerIndiana
SouthwestNate ToddArkansas
Far WestKelly FitzpatrickOregon

Past Presidents

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