Four new members have been appointed to the VA’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. The committee is an expert panel that advises VA’s secretary on issues and programs impacting women Veterans. It was established in 1983, and has been instrumental in shaping policy and urging legislative changes to better serve women Veterans.
New Members VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans
||Lisa Kirk Brown, Bellingham, Washington A retired Maryland Air National Guard lieutenant colonel; currently serves as a member of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs’ Women Veterans Advisory Committee, a member of the Whatcom County Veterans Advisory Board, and a Disabled American Veterans service officer.
||Kate Germano, Upper Marlboro, Maryland A retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel; currently serves as chief operating officer for Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), a non-profit organization solely focused on supporting the needs of service women and women Veterans.
||Karen O’Brien, University Place, Washington A retired U.S. Army Colonel who deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she currently serves as a compensation and pension physician for the Veterans Benefits Administration in American Lake
||Betty Yarbrough, Springfield, Virginia A retired U. S. Army colonel, with deployments in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom; immediate past military director of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, where she served as the primary advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on all matters pertaining to women in the armed forces.
Committee members Octavia Harris, a retired command master chief petty officer from San Antonio, Texas, and Shannon McLaughlin, Esq., a Major with the Massachusetts National Guard, have been reappointed for an additional term.
I extend my very sincere gratitude to Navy Veteran Tia Christopher, retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Louisa Long Jaffe, retired U.S. Public Health Service rear admiral Joyce Johnson, and Sara McVicker, formerly with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, for completing their dedicated, selfless service on the committee.
The contributions of a variety of subject matter experts from a wide range of backgrounds on an array off federal advisory committees are a key component of VA’s overall strategy to achieve stakeholder and public engagement in its efforts and commitment to serve Veterans, their families, and survivors, and I encourage those interested in serving in this capacity to visit the VA Advisory Committee Management Office website to learn more.