Ms. Jackson was selected by Secretary Denis McDonough to serve as the Chief of Staff for Veterans Affairs and sworn in on October 10, 2023. As Chief of Staff, Ms. Jackson 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 $246 billion and over 450,000 employees serving in VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and national cemeteries.

Ms. Jackson brings to the Department of Veterans Affairs two decades of experience in national security, military health, and Veterans issues spanning positions in the executive branch, legislative branch, and research and nonprofit institutions. From January 2021 to October 2023, she served as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for the strategic readiness of the Armed Forces as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Readiness in the Department of Defense.

During her time at the RAND Corporation, as an international and defense researcher, Ms. Jackson led and published research on topics including military culture, military personnel policy, special operations, and Reserve Component forces. She also served as a professor of policy analysis at the RAND Pardee RAND Graduate School, and previously conducted research for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Since beginning her civilian service in the Department of Defense in 2009, Ms. Jackson held key positions in special operations, Syria, and security assistance policy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. She also served as a planner in three special operations commands, and as a special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation directorate.

From 2004-2006, Ms. Jackson worked for U.S. Senator Mark Dayton as the military and Veterans legislative assistant, where she spearheaded legislation to create the National Guard and Reserve Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

Ms. Jackson also served as a Naval Reserve officer from 2012 to 2020, holding assignments in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Naval Special Warfare, and the Chief of Naval Operations’ Strategic Studies Group.

Originally from Wisconsin, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Jackson lives in Virginia with her husband, an active-duty Army officer, and their two cats.

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