Title: Associate, Policy and Advocacy
At IAVA: As Associate of Policy and Advocacy, Rodger tracks and reports on federal and state legislation, legal matters, and government policies pertaining to the veterans’ community and IAVA’s policy goals. He supports the organization’s efforts to bring veterans’ issues out of the beltway and into the consciousness of the American public by supporting IAVA’s traditional and social media initiatives that underscore our priorities. While the D.C. office focuses on all of IAVA’s Policy Priorities, Rodger specifically hones in on the issues surrounding veteran wellness, including Alternative Therapies research and access.
Professional Background: Rodger is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, serving 6 1/2 years in the United States Army as an Infantry Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. Following his service, Rodger obtained bachelor degrees in Political Science and Sociology at Indiana University South Bend while simultaneously pursuing a Master of Public Affairs in Government Administration and Public Policy. While at Indiana University, Rodger served as Chairperson of the Indiana University All University Student Association, President of the Indiana University South Bend Student Body, and President of the University’s Student Veteran Organization. As well, he was nominated as a top 10 finalist for Student Veterans of America’s 2020 Student Veteran of the Year. After graduating, he served as Deputy City Clerk and Director of Policy for the City of South Bend, Indiana, and as an Operations Executive in the Aerospace Industry.
More about Rodger: Rodger grew up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, IN, enlisting in the United States Army at age 19. Both of Rodger’s grandfathers served in WWII, followed by his uncles in Vietnam, and military service was attractive to him at an early age. Later in life, Rodger struggled with a loss of community and sense of purpose during his transition from military service member to civilian. It wasn’t until he re-engaged with the military and veterans community and accessed his education benefits that he found a sense of purpose. He also concluded that serving the military and veterans community was something he needed to do for the rest of his life.
Ask Rodger about: Outside of work, Rodger loves spending time traveling, and hiking with his dogs, Cricket and Izzy. He also enjoys going to the gym, cooking, and reading.
More #AllStarAdvocacy videos are available in IAVA’s 2023 All-Star Advocacy Fly-In video showcase.