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VA offers appreciation to outgoing leaders, names those acting in the interim

March 12, 2021, 04:30:00 PM

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VA offers appreciation to outgoing leaders, names those acting in the interim

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) thanks senior leaders whose tenure has ended as their deputies step up to lead temporarily. 

Departing are executive directors Stephen Dillard and Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd who led the Center for Minority Veterans (CMV) and Center for Women Veterans (CWV) respectively.

 During Dillard’s three years of leadership, CMV conducted the first-ever National Minority Veterans Summit with more than 700 Veterans and VA Staff attending; established a data analyst position to collect, review and analyze Veteran demographic data across VA business lines; increased formal and informal partnerships; and reached 2 million plus Veterans through targeted outreach. Prior to leading CMV, Dillard directed VA’s Center for Faith based and Opportunity Initiative. 

Under the direction of Hayes-Byrd CWV ramped up its I Am Not Invisible (IANI) initiative completing 3,055 campaign photographs in all 50 states, 26 American Indian/Alaska Native Nations and Puerto Rico, and placing IANI photos in medical facilities to assist in cultural transformation efforts; signed memorandums of agreement with the National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators, Women in Military Service for America and Minority Veterans of America; and spearheaded the first Pilot Roundtable for American Indian/Alaska Native Women Veterans in collaboration with VA’s Office of Tribal Governmental Relations and the State of Arizona focused on improving services to this underserved population. Prior to leading CWV Hayes-Byrd served as Acting Chief of Staff of VA. 

“We are grateful to Mr. Dillard and Ms. Hayes-Byrd for their service to Veterans and wish them well in all their future endeavors,” said VA Acting Chief of Staff Chris Diaz. 

The deputy directors for CMV and CWV will step up to lead those offices until permanent successors are named. 

Dennis May will serve as acting executive director for the Center for Minority Veterans. He brings his expertise in administration, manpower and personnel to the post. A retired Colonel, May arrived at VA following his career in the Air Force. 

Elizabeth Estabrooks will serve as acting executive director for the Center for Women Veterans. She will continue her efforts advocating for cultural transformation within and outside the VA to recognize the service and contributions of women Veterans and servicemembers, along with raising awareness about treating women Veterans with dignity and respect. Estabrooks is a Cold War Veteran of the U.S. Army. 

Learn more about the Center for Minority Veterans and Center for Women Veterans


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