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Gordon H. Mansfield

Gordon H. Mansfield is the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Political career

Mansfield was nominated to serve as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs by President George W. Bush on November 3, 2003, and confirmed by the Senate on January 22, 2004. He previously served as VA Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs since August 1, 2001. From October 1, 2007 until December 20, 2007 he was the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs after Jim Nicholson resigned as Secretary. He served as Acting Secretary until President Bush's nominee, Retired U.S. Army Surgeon General James Peake was sworn in on December 20, 2007.

Prior to his appointment, Mansfield served as the legislative advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and was responsible for VA’s Congressional relations and for representing VA programs, policies, investigations and legislative agenda to Congress.

Prior to joining VA, Mansfield served as executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) since April 1993. In that position, he oversaw daily operation of PVA’s national office in Washington, D.C. Mansfield held a number of positions at PVA from 1981 to 1989, and served as the organization’s first associate executive director of Government Relations.

Mansfield served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993 under President George H. W. Bush’s Administration. Prior to 1981, he practiced law in Ocala, Florida.


Mansfield received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University. While recovering from wounds sustained in Vietnam, he began studying for his law degree at American University, and eventually graduated from the University of Miami.

Military service

Following his 1964 enlistment in the Army, Mansfield served two tours of duty in Vietnam. While serving as company commander with the 101st Airborne Division during his second tour, he was wounded during the Tet Offensive on February 4, 1968, when an enemy soldier feigning death shot him. Mansfield sustained a spinal cord injury, but remained with his soldiers and made sure that the wounded were evacuated before he was medevaced to a Navy Hospital, and was later sent to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to recover. Mansfield was discharged in September 1968.


For his actions while his unit was under fire, he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross. He was medically retired by the U.S. Army at the grade of Captain. His other combat decorations include the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Mansfield is a recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Villanova University Alumni Human Relations Medal. He was inducted into the 2006 National Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame, and into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in 1997.

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