official portrait of terrence hays

Terrence L. Hayes was appointed by President Biden as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPIA), on May 15, 2024. In this role, Mr. Hayes leads VA’s earned media, marketing campaigns, crisis and rapid response communications, PACT Act communications, and serves as official spokesperson for the Department.  

Prior to this role, Mr. Hayes served as VA’s Press Secretary and official spokesperson for Secretary Denis McDonough and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the second-largest federal agency in government. In that role, Mr. Hayes served as the liaison for VA regarding significant media activities and addressing all national media inquiries and external messaging.

Mr. Hayes is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran serving from August 1996 to August 2016. During his military service, he earned numerous decorations, most notably the defense Meritorious Service Medal and Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq from December 2006 to March 2008. He is also an esteemed member of the Army’s Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Mr. Hayes’ public affairs career spans 25-plus years serving in government, non-profit and military sectors. He is a graduate of University of Maryland Global College in Adelphi, Maryland, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication. He also graduated from Troy University in Troy, Alabama, earning a master’s degree in strategic communications as well as management and organizational leadership. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he now lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland with his wife Chelsey and their daughter, Chancellor

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