Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Gary C. Tallman
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Mr. Gary C. Tallman is a senior communications leader with 28 years of experience and specialized education in both the military and Federal government. He assumed his current position as Executive Director for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at VA on August 7, 2016. He has proven experience in leading people and organizational change, inter-agency communications policy, strategic communications and organizational planning, crisis communications, media relations, and key stakeholder outreach and engagement. He joined the VA as the Senior Public Affairs Advisor in July, 2011.
He entered the communications field in 1998, halfway through his Army career and following advanced civil schooling at The Ohio State University, as the Public Affairs Officer for the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He then served from 2000 to 2003 consecutively as the Director of Public Affairs for the 82d Airborne Division, and XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Nation’s premier rapid deployment forces. During this period he also deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, serving as the Public Affairs Operations Chief for U.S. and allied forces for Combined Joint Task Force 180 at Bagram Air Base.
Mr. Tallman then served in the Pentagon in various senior communications assignments in the Office of the Chief of Army Public Affairs, and culminated 21 years of military service in August 2009 after serving as Deputy Special Assistant for Public Affairs to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for three years. He is also a veteran of combat deployments to Panama for Operation Just Cause in 1989-1990, and to Southwest Asia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91. Before coming to VA, he began his Federal civil service career as a Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist (Deputy Director of Army Media Relations) back in the Office of the Chief of Army Public Affairs in June 2009.
As Executive Director of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Tallman is a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and currently leads all outreach and engagement programs and policy development for the VA, providing strategic planning and guidance to the departments media relations; digital media engagement; National Veterans Outreach and Homeless Veterans Outreach programs, and public affairs support to VA leaders and facilities from six regional offices in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Los Angeles.
A native of Watervliet, New York, Mr. Tallman attended Siena College in Loudonville, New York, where he earned a Bachelors in History and, as a Distinguished Military Graduate of Siena’s Army ROTC program, a commission in the Regular Army. He holds a Masters in Journalism from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He also completed a one-year Army Fellowship with Fleishman-Hillard International Communications in Washington, D.C.
He is married and has three daughters.