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ARLINGTON, Va. Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe on Friday named the retired commander of the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command as his secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security.
Adm. John Harvey Jr. is the 10th Cabinet member appointed by McAuliffe, who will be inaugurated Jan. 11. The only two top-level posts remaining to be filled are secretary of education and secretary of commerce and trade.
Harvey, 62, received his commission from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973 and served in a variety of positions during his 39-year career. Earlier this year, Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Harvey chairman of his newly created commission to protect Virginia against military base closings and limit the effect of defense cuts on the state.
“Protecting the nation and those who serve it has been my life’s work, and I am deeply honored to bring the skills, experience and perspective I’ve developed during my career in the Navy to the task of serving Virginia’s veterans and their families,” said Harvey, who was introduced by McAuliffe at a news conference at the Military Officers Association of America in Alexandria.
The Democratic governor-elect praised Harvey’s “unmatched leadership skills, his knowledge of both veterans’ affairs and emergency preparedness and enormous experience managing large enterprises with multiple missions.”
Harvey commanded the U.S. Forces Fleet for three years before retiring last year. He previously served as chief of naval personnel, deputy chief of naval operations and senior military assistant to the undersecretary of defense.
The Baltimore native earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1988.
The position of secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security was established in 2011.