VA brings more appointees aboard


WASHINGTON — The latest Biden-Harris administration appoints three more leaders to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Raphael Chavez-Fernandez, deputy assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs: Raphael Chavez-Fernandez leads IGA which provides strategic advice, guidance and information to the VA Secretary, undersecretaries for Health, Benefits and Memorial Affairs, and all other VA staff offices by fostering and enhancing government partnerships and acting as liaison between VA and the White House, federal, state, county, municipal, tribal, insular and international governments, and faith-based communities. Before joining VA Chavez-Fernandez led the two New Jersey offices as state director for Senator Robert Menendez and was the New Jersey advisor and deputy campaign manager during Menendez’s run for Senate. At Mercury Public Affairs he served as senior associate providing legislative, regulatory and political action analysis. He also served as a legislative aide for New Jersey Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. 

James Albino, executive director, Center Minority Veterans: James Albino in his post as executive director for CMV ensures all Veterans receive equal service regardless of race, origin, religion or gender. Albino formerly served as deputy assistant secretary for VA’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs until January 2017. He oversaw the office which has primary responsibility for all relations between VA and international, state, county, municipal and tribal governments. Prior to joining VA in September 2015 Albino served as executive director of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico in the White House. In that role he initiated, led and coordinated a White House supported deputy secretary level engagement that sought the commitment and resources of each federal cabinet level leadership to improve the operations of federal programs in Puerto Rico. 

Lourdes Tiglao, executive director, Center for Women Veterans: Lourdes Tiglao in her current role leads CWV in monitoring and coordinating VA’s administration of health care, benefits, services and programs for women Veterans. Her focus is as an advocate for cultural transformation and to raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women Veterans with dignity and respect. Prior to joining VA, she was the global partnerships manager at Airbnb’s Open Homes (now program. Tiglao serves on the MyVA Advisory Committee, charged with providing oversight and advising the secretary on improving customer service, Veteran outcomes and setting the course for long-term reform. She has sat on several Veteran-focused boards to improve service access for minority Veterans and enhance their lives through the arts. She’s also served as a disaster responder and a strategic partnerships manager at Team Rubicon Global after a decade of service in the U.S. Air Force with the Critical Care Air Transport Team.

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