Deputy Director, Center for Women Veterans

Mary Bradford serves as the Deputy Director in the Center for Women Veterans. Mary leads development and implementation of new initiatives that support and enhance the Center for Women Veteran’s mission and vision. She advocates for cultural transformation both within and outside the VA to recognize the service and contributions of women Veterans and servicemembers and raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women Veterans with dignity and respect. Mary is team lead for staff supervision, development, and creative performance, as well as organizational and strategic planning that will continue to move the Center for Women Veterans forward in successfully meeting their goals.

Prior to coming to the VA, Mary retired from United States Marine after 22 years on active duty. She is a “Mustang” having served 10 years in the enlisted ranks before being selected to the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program after which she served 12 years in the officer corps. Mary saw assignments both within the continental US and overseas. She was amongst the first cadre of Women Marines to serve as a Communications Field Radio Operators deploying numerous times to the middle east and far east. She was selected and served 3 years as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, training over 650 women recruits. Mary was also selected to serve as a Company Commander before obtaining her final rank of Major. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps, Mary began her Federal Civilian work with the Department of Defense (DoD), serving in several key assignments within Marine Corps Personnel and Family Readiness helping to direct the program’s transition to a wartime footing. Her last assignment with DoD was as the head of a large Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI) in San Diego, California where she was responsible for the leadership of more than 800 employees.

Mary then transitioned to the Veteran Health Administration joining the Member Services team. Her last leadership role was Deputy Director of the Health Resource Center (HRC) sharing the responsibility for more than 730 employees. As leader of the HRC, a Veterans Affairs National Program Office, Mary directed day to day activities of three major business lines which included National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, First Party medical billing and Help Desk technical support. Her work was instrumental in Member Services being the only federal entity to obtain accreditation from the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI).

Mary is a graduate of the 2021 cohort of Leadership VA (LVA). She was a member of Team 1 whose innovation project, a screening tool for military environmental exposure, was a key component of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act (PACT Act).

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