*Lt. Gen. James Peake — U.S. Army, retired. Peake served as the Army Surgeon General for four years and as the sixth U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs from December 2007 to January 2009. He is a 1966 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as well as a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, receiving a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with “V” device and Purple Heart. He is a graduate of Cornell Medical School and is the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Project Hope.
*Chet Edwards — Representative from Texas, U.S. House of Representatives, 1991-2010. While in Congress, Edwards was a champion for issues impacting service members, veterans and their families. His dedication to improving services and to the welfare of our nation’s veterans is notable by his 2009 legislation which provided full college scholarships for all military children who have lost a parent in service to our nation since Sept. 11, 2001.
Capt. Thomas Kelley — U.S. Navy, retired. Kelley is a 1969 Medal of Honor recipient for gallantry in Vietnam. Upon retirement from 30 years of active service, he worked as a Department of Defense civilian employee and then was appointed commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services. He was selected by the governor to serve as secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services. He retired from public service in January 2011.
Col. Gene E. Castagnetti — U.S. Marine Corps, retired. Castagnetti served as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, from February 1990 to September 2013. He received the Civilian Medal from U.S. Pacific Command for outstanding outreach to active duty members and veterans of the nation. He was selected as the VA National Cemetery Employee of the Year by the National Disabled Veterans Association for his contributions to disabled veterans and his expertise in national cemetery operations. He was an infantry officer from October 1961 to July 1989, serving two combat tours in Vietnam.
Maj. Gen. Elizabeth A. "Ann" Harrell — U.S. Air Force, retired. Harrell is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University with more than 30 years of service. She has extensive experience in supply management, including time-sensitive support to combat operations. After retirement, she continued to work in support of active duty and retired military personnel through the Army Soldier for Life program. She worked with the Office of the Surgeon General to develop policy for full-time care of seriously wounded veterans. She also served on the General Electric Corporation Senior Advisory Committee for its internal veterans' network, and she continues to serve on the advisory board for the Museum of the United States Air Force.
Maj. John A. "Jack Kelly — U.S. Army, retired. Mr. Kelly served for 28 years in active and reserve components of the Army. His assignments include command of a Special Forces unit. He has received various service awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit. He served as a political aide to two U.S. presidents and in staff positions with Congress and the New York and federal courts. He is a member of the Board of the Army Distaff Foundation and the Advisory Council on Graduate Studies and Research for the University of Notre Dame. He was previously appointed Chairman of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, serving from 2004 to 2018. Under his leadership, the Committee successfully improved VA cemetery operations and the delivery of burial benefits and services to veterans, family members and survivors, including the largest expansion of national cemeteries since the Civil War.
Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau — U.S. Navy, retired. Rondeau is president of the Naval Postgraduate School. She is a past president of the College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Illinois) and the National Defense University. In 1985, she was selected and served as a White House fellow in the Reagan Administration. Rondeau retired from the U.S. Navy as a three-star admiral in 2012. She is the second woman to have achieved this rank in the Navy. She then served as a partner and later an independent consultant with the IBM Watson Group. Rondeau has extensive leadership experience in significant military and educational roles, including Deputy Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command in Illinois, Pentagon Director/Chief of Staff for the U.S. Navy Staff, Commander of the Navy Personnel Development Command in Virginia, Commander of the Naval Service Training Command at Great Lakes, Ill., Pacific Fleet Staff Chief of Staff in Hawaii, Commanding Officer of Naval Support Activity in Tennessee and other staff and commanding responsibilities with policy, support and student service.
Col. Robert T. Hess — U.S. Army, retired. Hess is the Gold Star Father of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, who was killed in action on April 23, 2013 in Afghanistan. Hess was commissioned in 1982 as a field artillery officer. In 1983, he graduated from flight school and transferred to the aviation branch. During his career, he served in various positions of increasing leadership responsibilities, including command of 4th Battalion, 159th Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, and as senior Army faculty advisor after attending the U.S. Marine Corps War College. He subsequently deployed to Iraq as the director of plans and policy, Multi-National Corps-Iraq. Subsequently, he was assigned as commander, U.S. Army Aeronautical Services Agency. He retired from the Army in 2011 and worked for MCR LLC for seven years as the director of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Support Operations. Hess is currently the deputy commander for the U.S. Army Aeronautical Services Agency and is stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Command Sgt. Maj. Mark L. Farley — U.S. Army, retired. Farley retired from the Army with 32 years of active duty service. During his career, he served in numerous positions of increasing leadership responsibilities, including first sergeant course instructor, chief instructor and command sergeant major. While assigned to U.S. Army Pacific as command sergeant major, he played a key role in ensuring that U.S. Army Pacific units remained mission ready to support any contingency operation, with over 7,000 soldiers deploying in support of the war on terrorism. Farley culminated his career as the command senior enlisted advisor for U.S. European Command. He holds a bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) from Park College in criminal justice administration—law enforcement, and a master's degree in management and leadership from Webster University. Farley currently serves as the civilian deputy assistant commandant for the U.S. Army Military Police School.
Master Sgt. Rose Duval — U.S. Air Force, retired. Duval is the Gold Star Mother of Air Force Tech Sgt. Scott E. Duffman, who was killed in action on February 18, 2007 in Afghanistan. Duval spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force medical career field and as a professional military education instructor. In 1990, she retired as a master sergeant as the superintendent of the Orthopedic Surgical Clinic at Kirtland Air Force Base. In 1991, she was recalled to serve in support of Operation Desert Storm. After this assignment, she returned to retired status and held positions with the Department of Energy Office of Emergency Operations and the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. She has also completed a detail to the executive office of the president, National Security Staff Resilience Directorate. She is currently enjoying retirement and her grandchildren.
Nick Miller — Miller spent 10 years as a U.S. Army officer completing combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Star medals during his service. As Arlington National Cemetery’s Chief Information Officer from 2010 to 2013, Miller led an information technology transformation that was publicly commended by the secretary of the Army as well as several U.S. senators. Through his efforts, the award-winning mobile application ANC Explorer was launched. After separating from the Army, Miller spent six years at In-Q-Tel Inc., a not-for-profit organization that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to U.S. government agencies. He is currently employed at a leading cloud technology company. Miller holds a Master of Science in Finance from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University. Miller resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two young daughters.
* indicates Committee chairperson