Buttigieg hopes to name first female VA secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said if elected he’d like to name a woman to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the first time, part of a broader plan to spur cultural changes addressing the needs of the military’s fastest-growing group.

The 37-year-old South Bend, Indiana, mayor is unveiling a wide-ranging proposal to fix the VA in a Veterans Day address in Rochester, New Hampshire.

He said that for too long the needs of female veterans and service members – including responses to sexual harassment, women’s health and job training – have been neglected.

“I think leadership plays a huge role so absolutely I’d seek to name a woman to lead VA,” former Navy intelligence officer Buttigieg said in an interview.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. PHOTO: AP