Kristen Rouse

Title: Managing Director

At IAVA: Kristen L. Rouse is currently the Managing Director at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, after having served on IAVA’s Board of Directors for nearly 5 years. She has been an active member of IAVA going back to 2008, after she transitioned from active duty in the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division to living in New York City shortly after her first tour of duty in Afghanistan. IAVA has been an important part of her life, and she is proud to be serving the IAVA team and membership on a full-time basis.

Professional Background: Kristen has served in the US Army, US Army Reserve, and Army National Guard over nearly three decades, including three tours of duty in Afghanistan and active service in support of the Department of Defense’s national COVID-19 vaccination mission. Her military roles have included mission planning for resupply convoys to remote combat outposts in eastern Afghanistan and working directly with the Afghan National Army. Outside of her roles in the military and veterans’ spaces, her professional experience has included creating regional and citywide logistics plans and programs for NYC’s Office of Emergency Management, consulting on security and emergency preparedness, teaching literature and writing as an adjunct professor, and managing a district office for a Member of Congress.

More About Kristen: She has been a changemaker for veterans and their families in New York and nationally. As both a longtime IAVA member and founder of NYC Veterans Alliance, she spearheaded legislative campaigns that have benefited and brought greater recognition to veterans and their families, including establishing and funding an independent Department of Veterans’ Services for NYC, adding protection of military and veteran status to NYC’s Human Rights Law, and naming Manhattan’s VA hospital in honor of Revolutionary War veteran Margaret Cochran Corbin. She additionally served for three years as Deputy Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, creating the agency’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion programming to improve inclusivity in services, outreach, and recognition for all veterans and their families across the State of New York.

Kristen has written on veteran and military issues for The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Daily Beast, Tampa Bay Times, and other publications, and spoken about her experience as a veteran and her service in Afghanistan on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Fox News, VICE News, BBC, and NPR.

Ask Kristen about: Originally from Florida, she has made Brooklyn her home for seventeen years. Ask her about Brooklyn’s Revolutionary War history and canoeing on the Gowanus Canal.



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