VA History Team - VA History Office
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VA History Office

 

VA History Team

In April 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formally established the VA History Office (VAHO) to manage an overarching history initiative in a collaborative effort that includes VA’s three Administrations: Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and National Cemetery Administration (NCA).

The VA History team supports the VA History Program and establishment of the National VA History Center (NVAHC), and includes a small number of talented historians, archivists, curators, and other specialists with a passion for VA history. The VA History team also includes employees with special talents who are on temporary detail assignments to VAHO and make significant contributions to this new endeavor.

VA History Team organization

The VA Chief Historian manages the development of the NVAHC and the VA History Program. VHA, VBA, and NCA have their own historians on staff who serve as critical experts to tell the story of their respective Administration, while increasing the effectiveness of the collaborative process in telling the overarching VA story.

Our internal VA partners include the Federal Preservation Officer, Records Management Officers of each administration, and Librarians, among members of other diverse disciplines. We also work closely with professionals across the VA Central Office who manage communications, information technology, construction, VA’s legislative interaction, and other functions. 


Meet the VA History team

VA Chief Historian Michael Visconage.

Mike Visconage serves as the History Program Director and Chief Historian for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He joined VA in July 2019 and was charged with establishing a VA History Office and advancing the development of the National VA History Center as a central location for historical VA artifacts and archival materials. Mike served in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, including deployments to Iraq as a military field historian and Command Historian for Multi-National Forces. Before joining VA, he worked in a variety of private industry positions, implementing new programs and change-management initiatives. Mike was also an organizer and Co-Director of the Texas World War I Centennial Commemoration from 2015-19.

VHA Historian Katie Delacenserie.

Katie Delacenserie serves as Historian for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), preserving and promoting the stories of the people, places, events, and innovations surrounding the largest integrated health care system in the United States by interpreting VHA’s impact on the lives of fellow Americans, veterans, and the world at-large. Prior to joining VA, Katie held positions with the Naval History and Heritage Command and the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. A native of Wisconsin Katie holds a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire with an emphasis on Public History. She received her masters degree with a specialization in Archival Administration from the University of Maryland and she plays an active role in several professional organizations. In 2019, she was named a Fulbright Specialist.

VBA Historian Dr. Jeffrey Seiken.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Seiken joined the Veterans Benefits Administration in 2020 as the agency’s first-ever historian. He previously served as the Deputy Director of History at U.S Strategic Command. He also spent nine years as a historian for the U.S. Air Force and another three years at the U.S. Army Center of Military History. In 2010, he received the Air Force's Civilian Exemplary Service Award for his work while deployed to southern Afghanistan. Seiken holds a doctorate in history from the Ohio State University and has published numerous essays, encyclopedia articles, and books reviews on American naval and military history. He has also been awarded research fellowships from Naval History and Heritage Command and the International Center for Jefferson Studies.

NCA Historian Richard Hulver.

Richard A. Hulver earned his doctorate from West Virginia University. He currently works in the National Cemetery Administration’s (NCA) History Office. Prior to joining NCA, he worked for the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). He has also worked with United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), and the U.S. Army Chief-of-Staff’s 2003–2011 Iraq War Study Group. At NHHC Richard worked extensively researching the loss of the WWII cruiser USS Indianapolis. His research helped teams discover the wreckage ofthe ship in August 2017. He authored & edited a documentary history edition covering the loss of the ship entitled A Grave Misfortune: The USS Indianapolis Tragedy. In 2020, he served as lead author on an NCA publication America’s World War II Burial Program.

VA Senior Archivist Robyn Rodgers.

Robyn K. Rodgers serves as the inaugural Senior Archivist, leading archival activities within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) History Office. In this role, Ms. Rodgers is responsible for developing archival standards, practices, and operations for the VA History Program and the National VA History Center, to be established on the VA Medical Center Campus in Dayton, Ohio. Ms. Rodgers comes to VA from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), having served as Chief Archivist. Previous posts include National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), holding a variety of positions in Research Services in Anchorage, Alaska, San Bruno, Calif. and College Park, Md. offices, as well as in Agency Services, focusing on Department of Defense appraisal including Capstone and other electronic records. She has extensive experience in senior leadership, policy development, programmatic creation and strategic rehabilitation, as well as the intersection of records management and archives. She graduated with honors from Virginia State University holding bachelor’s degree in American history, as well as a master’s degree in Information and Library Sciences with a concentration in Archival Management from San Jose State University.

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