Pamela J. Powers
Chief of Staff of Veterans Affairs
As Chief of Staff, Pamela Powers is the senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary in the federal government’s second-largest Cabinet department, with a budget of more than $188 billion and over 357,000 employees serving in VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and national cemeteries across the country.
Ms. Powers has nearly 30 years of service in the Air Force and the Department of Defense, with experience in executive-level management, policy development, strategic planning and programming, legislation, operations, and communications.
Before joining VA, Ms. Powers served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. In that capacity, Ms. Powers was responsible for day-to-day operations of Department of Defense Total Force Management as it relates to readiness, National Guard and Reserve component affairs, health affairs, training, and personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and quality of life matters.
During her military service, Ms. Powers was assigned to posts in Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, Kuwait, and Washington, D.C. She served as the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Legislative Affairs, where she managed operations of the Office of Legislative Affairs and led the Department of Defense Congressional Travel Program. Ms. Powers also served as the Executive Director for the Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee and as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. In 2015, Ms. Powers deployed to Kuwait, where she served as Chief of Staff to the 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force-Levant, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Psychology, Ms. Powers holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College and a Master of Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She also served as a Department of Defense Congressional Fellow in the Office of Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
Ms. Powers retired from the Air Force as a colonel on March 1, 2018, and her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.