Experienced policy and education leader rejoins IAVA’s executive team
NEW YORK (April 15, 2016) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, today announced the appointment of Jonathan Schleifer as Interim Chief Policy Officer. Schleifer is returning to IAVA after previously leading IAVA’s policy work from 2009-2012.
“Jonathan was here when we fought some of our toughest battles in the policy arena,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “Jonathan’s grasp of veterans policies and his experience navigating a complex political system is much needed as we head into a tumultuous election season. Veterans issues are being used as a political chew toy by presidential candidates and Members of Congress. This is occurring while 22 veterans die by suicide every day and at a time when Congress is looking to break open the Post-9/11 GI Bill as a piggy bank. Jonathan’s leadership will be essential as we fight to ensure that veterans issues are a top priority for all stakeholders involved.”
As Interim Chief Policy Officer Schleifer provides strategic guidance for and leadership of IAVA’s legislative, research and political departments. He is responsible for ensuring that veterans issues remain a priority in the political landscape and that IAVA’s members have a strong voice in DC. Schleifer has also served as Executive Director of Educators 4 Excellence in New York City, was a Senior Policy Adviser on Capitol Hill, led online communications on a top-tier Senate race and taught Middle School in the South Bronx with Teach for America. Schleifer has graduate degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia University’s Teachers College.
“It is an honor to be back at IAVA working with the 2.8 million veterans that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Schleifer. “We are at a critical time in this country. After 14 years of war and after having made great gains in unemployment, education, and mental health for veterans and their families, veterans are now having to fight to defend these gains and benefits, while women veterans are fighting for basic recognition. The challenges are immense, and there is critical work to be done, but the post-9/11 veteran community is incredible – they are the new greatest generation and can create the change this country needs. I am proud to again be a part of the IAVA team.”
IAVA is headquartered in New York and has staff in California, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, which includes a mix of veterans and civilians who represent diverse areas of expertise and backgrounds. All IAVA staff demonstrate a deeply personal and professional commitment to the veteran community.