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Office for Veterans’ Affairs welcomes new Director and Government’s Veterans Advisor

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) has today announced the appointment of new Director Jessie Owen.

Currently a Deputy Director in the Government’s Covid Taskforce, Jessie has broad experience across government. She has previously worked on cross-government priorities in national security policy and strategy, including oversight of the Security and Intelligence Agencies, the Cyber Security Programme and Counter-Terrorism strategy in the National Security Secretariat.

Incoming Director of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs Jessie Owen said:

“I’m delighted to be joining the OVA, and to be leading a team already making a tangible difference to the lives of veterans across the country.

“There is still much to do to realise our ambitions for ex-servicemen and women. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across Whitehall and beyond, and to serving our veterans in the way they have served our nation.”

Jessie succeeds interim Director David Richmond, who has been appointed as the Government’s independent Veterans Advisor.

Reporting directly to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, David will vice chair the Veterans Advisory Board, and offer expert and constructive challenge to the Government effort to make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Commenting on both appointments, Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer said:

“I’m delighted to have Jessie joining us to head up the team at the OVA. This job needs determination, drive and talent to continue the excellent progress made since the OVA’s inception. I have every confidence Jessie is the best person to take up the mantle, and look forward to working with her to deliver the Government’s ambitions for veterans.

“David has done sterling work in establishing the OVA over the past year. I’m very pleased we will continue to have his expertise to support the Government in our efforts to improve how we support our ex-servicemen and women.”

Veterans Advisor David Richmond said:

“It is a great privilege to be asked to continue to serve the veterans’ community as the Government’s first independent Veterans Advisor. I am looking forward enormously to being able to support and challenge the Government as they work to realise their vision; much has already been achieved but more remains to be done.

“This is not something Government can do alone and I will ensure that the third and private sectors, academia and our international allies all are able to contribute to make this vision a reality.”

Both appointments will begin their roles in March.

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