By Debbie Gregory.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has appointed a new director of the Center for Women Veterans.
Kayla M. Williams will serve as the 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. “I know Kayla will be tremendously helpful in improving services for female Veterans now and in future.”
After earning a BA in English Literature from Bowling Green State University and an MA in International Affairs from American University, Williams worked eight years at the RAND Corporation. At RAND, she conducted research on building partner capacity, veterans’ health needs and education benefits, and sexual harassment and assault in the military.
Williams served in the U.S. Army for five years as an Arabic linguist, including a year in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.
She 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.
Williams is also the author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the US Army, a book about her experiences as a soldier, and Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War.
The Center for Women Veterans monitors and coordinates the VA’s administration of health care and benefits services and programs for women veterans. The Center strives to make sure that the service and contributions of women veterans and women in the military is recognized.