The Department of Veterans Affairs announced the appointment of a new director of the Center for Women Veterans. Kayla M. Williams assumed duties this week as director, serving as primary advisor to the Secretary on Department policies, programs and legislation that affect women veterans.
“Kayla embodies everything it means to be a true advocate for women Veterans and I am proud to welcome her to VA in this leadership role,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “This is an important time for VA as we prepare for the growing number of women we expect to take advantage of the VA services they have earned. I know Kayla will be tremendously helpful in improving services for female veterans now and in future.”
Williams is a member of the Army Education Advisory Committee, a former member of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, a 2013 White House Woman Veteran Champion of Change, and a 2015 Lincoln Award recipient.
She worked eight years at the RAND Corporation conducting research on servicemember and Veteran health needs and benefits, international security, and intelligence policy.
Williams graduated cum laude with a BA in English Literature from Bowling Green State University and earned an MA in International Affairs with a focus on the Middle East from American University.
She is author of two books. “Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army” is a memoir about her deployment to Iraq. Her second book is, “Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War,” about her family’s journey from trauma to healing.
Williams is coming from Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, a combat-wounded veteran, and their two children.
The Center for Women Veterans was established by Congress in November 1994 by Public Law (P.L.) 103-446 and monitors and coordinates VA’s administration of health care and benefits services and programs for women Veterans. The Center serves as an advocate for a cultural transformation in recognizing the service and contributions of women Veterans and women in the military.