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VMSTEP Leadership

The Veteran Employment Program Office (VMSTEP) is aligned under the Office of Human Resources and Administration, which leads VA’s human capital management strategies and policies. VMSTEP leadership is committed to providing full spectrum career support for transitioning service members, Veterans and their families.

Cheryl L. Mason

Senior Advisor and Executive Director for Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Programs and Partnerships

Cheryl L. Mason, Executive Director, VMSTEP

The Honorable Cheryl L. Mason currently serves as the Executive Director for Veterans and Military Spouse Employment Programs and Partnerships for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the office of the OCHCO. In this position, Ms. Mason provides executive-level direction and expertise leading a department-wide program dedicated to building partnerships and promoting employment, development, and retention of Veterans and military spouses in VA to support military readiness, financial stability, food security, and suicide prevention, and support transitioning Veterans. She was recently awarded the Hiring Our Heroes Bonnie Amos Lifetime Achievement Impact Award by the US Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Mason served for nearly 5 years as the first woman and military spouse Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board). She was appointed Chairman by the President and confirmed by the Senate in November 2017 and served until August 2022. As Chairman, Ms. Mason led a team of approximately 1200 personnel including Veterans Law Judges, attorneys, and operations and administrative professionals, and executed a budget of $228 million to meet the Board’s mission of conducting hearings and deciding appeals on benefits and services for Veterans and their families. During her tenure, the Board implemented several technological innovations to include the interactive decision template (IDT), CASEFLOW – a modernized end to end process of tracking claims and appeals through the Department, and Virtual Tele-hearings, which revolutionized the hearing process and improve both customer experience and employee experience by enabling Veterans to have hearings on their cell phones at locations of their choice. She expanded the corps of Veterans Law Judges, recommending and onboarding over 70 new Veterans Law Judges, and expanding the Board’s budget by more than $50 million. She also championed and implemented the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) appeals process putting veterans at the center of the appeals process giving them choice, control, and clarity in the appeals process. The Honorable Mason delivered results increasing access and outcomes for veterans and their families by nearly doubling the number of hearings held and decisions issued in less than 4 years and driving the resolution of legacy appeals from over 427,000 to less than 96,000 during her tenure. Ms. Mason was recognized by Disabled American Veterans as the 2021 Outstanding Federal Executive and was a recipient of the FedHealthIT 2020 Leading for Impact: Women in Leadership Award.

Throughout her career, the Honorable Mason held several positions at VA and other Federal agencies, including the HQ USAFE. Ms. Mason is the spouse of an Air Force veteran, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (retired), and is the daughter of a World War II Navy Veteran. She advocates for supporting and changing the culture and increasing awareness surrounding mental health and suicide awareness/prevention. Originally from Portsmouth, Ohio, Ms. Mason received her B.A. with Distinction in Political Science and Psychology from Ohio Northern University and her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law.

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