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Anthony Principi

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Anthony Principi

Anthony Joseph Principi (born April 16, 1944) was the 4th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was nominated by President George W. Bush on December 29, 2000, and was confirmed by the Senate on January 23, 2001. Principi submitted his resignation in a letter dated November 16 2004, saying he would leave office once his successor was confirmed by the Senate. Bush nominated Jim Nicholson to replace Principi. Nicholson was confirmed on January 26, 2005. After leaving Veterans Affairs, Principi announced that he would take over the Washington, DC office of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

Prior to his nomination, Mr. Principi was president of QTC Medical Services, Inc., a group of professional service companies providing independent medical examinations and administration. During the past decade, he was senior vice president at Lockheed Martin IMS, and a partner in the San Diego, California law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps.

A combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, Mr. Principi has worked on national policy issues and has held several executive-level positions in federal government throughout his career. He chaired the Federal Quality Institute in 1991 and was chairman of the Commission on Servicemembers and Veterans Transition Assistance established by the United States Congress in 1996.

Mr. Principi served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, VA's second-highest executive position, from March 17, 1989, to September 26, 1992, when he was named Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs by President George H. W. Bush. He served in that position until January 1993. Following that appointment, he served as Republican chief counsel and staff director of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services.

From 1984 to 1988, he served as Republican chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He was the Veterans Administration's assistant deputy administrator for congressional and public affairs from 1983 to 1984, following three years as counsel to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mr. Principi is a 1967 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and first saw active duty aboard the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy. He later commanded a River Patrol Unit in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

Mr. Principi earned his law degree from Seton Hall University in 1975 and was assigned to the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps in San Diego, California. In 1980, he was transferred to Washington as a legislative counsel for the Department of the Navy.


Preceded by:
Togo D. West, Jr.
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
2001 – 2005
Succeeded by:
Jim Nicholson

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