Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Ronald E. Walters
Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs National Cemetery Administration
Ronald E. Walters was named Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs (USMA), for the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) effective January 20, 2021. Mr. Walters also continues to serve as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary, a position to which he was appointed in 2009.
As the Acting USMA, Mr. Walters oversees the maintenance and operation of 153 VA national cemeteries in providing dignified burial services for military Veterans and eligible family members. His responsibilities include overseeing design and construction activities related to the establishment of new VA national cemeteries; managing memorial programs including the provision of headstones, markers, medallions and Presidential Memorial Certificates; and administering federal grants to states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. There are currently 118 grant-funded Veterans cemeteries.
He was instrumental in efforts to modernize the approach to memorializing Veterans by establishing the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP) and Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM).
Mr. Walters previously served as NCA's Deputy Under Secretary for Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer. He has represented NCA at congressional hearings, as well as meetings with Veterans Service Organizations, the Office of Management and Budget, advisory committees and other specialty groups.
He joined the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Budget Analyst in 1985. He also served as Associate Chief Financial Officer for Budget and Planning in the Office of Personnel Management from October 2003 to July 2006.
Mr. Walters earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington University. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.
He has received two Presidential Rank Awards (Meritorious and Distinguished) and was a finalist for the 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in Management Excellence. Mr. Walters is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.