BATON ROUGE, La. (WNTZ) —U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Tanya Bradsher visited Louisiana today, making a stop in Baton Rouge at Southern University. Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, COL (USA Retired) and staff met Deputy Secretary Bradsher at Southern for a student veteran roundtable. Bradsher is the 10th Deputy Secretary of the federal VA and the first woman to ever hold the position, as well as being the highest-ranking woman in the history of the department.

Southern University Baton Rouge is one of 32 public and private college and university campuses across Louisiana staffed by an LDVA LaVetCorps navigator. LaVetCorps is currently in its fifth year of operation, and Louisiana is the second state in the nation to have student veteran mentors on college and university campuses. We are proud to serve nearly 10,000 student veterans and to offer a place on campus where they find resources and an opportunity to fellowship with other veterans. Our navigators work hand-in-hand with LDVA’s accredited veterans assistance counselors to connect veterans with the benefits they have earned, especially with regards to higher education benefits through Louisiana Title 29 and the federal GI Bill.

Secretary Strickland and staff hosted student veteran roundtables over the years at Louisiana State University, Grambling State University and Fletcher Technical Community College, among others. These events are necessary to hear directly from our student veterans about their needs, and their ideas on how we can best serve them. Our primary goal is to support our student veterans during their higher education journey, seeing them through to graduation and on to serve as leaders in their communities. Deputy Secretary Bradsher’s involvement was welcomed as LDVA strives to maintain positive working relationships with our partners at the federal VA.

Bradsher is a combat veteran who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army. She enlisted in 1993 and was commissioned in 1994 from the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. In March of 2021, Bradsher was selected by federal VA Secretary McDonough to serve as the Chief of Staff for Veterans Affairs. On Sept. 14, 2023, after a presidential nomination, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and on Sept. 20 was sworn in as Deputy Secretary. Bradsher earned her M.A. in Strategic Communications from George Washington University and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received numerous military awards, including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. She and her husband, Colonel (Retired) John Bradsher, have three children.

For more information about the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, visit; email; call 225.219.5000; or find us on social media on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.