Dr. Nakeia Daniels Appointed as First Black Woman to Lead Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs


January 19, 2024

She just made a significant step toward inclusive leadership!

The State of Oregon has officially announced, through a press release from Governor Tina Kotek’s office, that Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels has been appointed to lead the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA). Pending Senate confirmation, Dr. Daniels will become the first black woman to hold this significant role. Previously serving as the interim director since October of the preceding year, Dr. Daniels’ appointment reflects a milestone in the state’s commitment to diverse and experienced leadership within its government agencies.

Governor Kotek expressed confidence in Dr. Daniels’ capabilities, describing her as a talented and dedicated public servant with a proven track record. Dr. Daniels brings a wealth of experience, having served in the U.S. Army’s Finance Administration for eight years before contributing to the Maryland Transportation Administration. Her journey led her to Oregon in 2015, where she worked at the Oregon Department of Energy.


During her tenure in Oregon, Dr. Daniels became a valuable asset to the state’s leadership. In former Governor Kate Brown’s administration, she held various roles, including Veterans Affairs Advisor and Director of Equity and Racial Justice. Simultaneously, she served as the deputy director of the Oregon Youth Authority, showcasing her commitment to multifaceted public service.

“I am honored and deeply committed to serve Oregon’s veterans, our true American heroes. They deserve the utmost quality in services and benefits tailored to their unique needs,” Dr. Daniels said. “I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity to lead the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and I pledge to carry out this important work with diligence, dedication, and duty.”

Cover Photo: Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels speaks during the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony in Salem, Oregon. / Credit: Abigail Dollins for Statesman Journal

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