The Steering Committee oversees the strategic and tactical operation of the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute. Steering Committee members assist in identifying areas of study, educating key stakeholders, and providing direction to the fellows and policy analysts.
Jasper Craven has covered a plethora of policy issues on the local, state and federal levels for outlets including Politico Magazine, The American Prospect, The Nation, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and Vermont Digger. He is presently focused on military and veterans' issues, where he has written about snake oil salesmen hocking dubious PTSD treatments, untoward corporate and ideological lobbying over veterans' policy, and corruption inside the Vermont National Guard.
Lou Kern is a Vietnam combat veteran. He was at the Siege of Khe Sahn and he ran deep recon patrols with 3rd Force Recon Co, USMC. He completed college after his military service and opened a custom wood shop. Lou specialized in grand staircases, although is now a semi-retired master craftsman.
Paul Cox is a Marine veteran, serving from 1968-1972, with 18 months in Vietnam as an infantryman. Paul has returned to Vietnam four times since 2008 to help inform his advocacy for the United States to assist the Vietnamese in eliminating the continuing deadly legacies of the war—unexploded ordnance (UXO) and Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) contamination. He also advocates for aid to the children of AO-exposed U.S. Vietnam veterans. Paul believes that comprehensive, integrated care is integral to veterans health and wellness. He proudly uses the Veterans Health Administration. He has related his Vietnam War experiences to thousands of high school and college students around the United States. He is a member of the American Legion Post 315 and is the Chair of the American Legion War Memorial Commission working to preserve veterans’ access to the SF Veterans Building. He is also a founder of Veterans For Peace Chapter 69 and Hoa Binh (Vietnam) Chapter 160. He is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. Paul is a licensed civil engineer thanks to the GI Bill.
Russell B. Lemle, PhD, is the VA-Community Care Workgroup Lead for the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL) and is Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School, Department of Psychiatry. From 1981 to 2018, he worked at the San Francisco VA Healthcare System, the last 25 years serving as the Chief Psychologist.. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Lemle has been widely recognized for his contributions to the delivery of veterans’ healthcare, including 2005 APA Presidential Citation, 2011 APA Division 18 Harold Hildreth Award, 2013 Association of VA Psychologist Leaders’ Antonette Zeiss Distinguished Career Award and 2016 AVAPL Patrick DeLeon Advocacy Award. In 2017, the AVAPL Russell B. Lemle Leadership Award was established in his honor for those who promote leadership development to improve mental health care for veterans. He has presented at the Commission on Care, authored numerous testimonies that were entered into the official record of Congressional Committees on Veterans Affairs hearings, and published scientific articles demonstrating the downstream devastation to veterans that will occur if VHA healthcare is expanded rapidly into the community. Lemle received the 2020 Special Recognition Award for Veterans Health Care Advocacy from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Suzanne Gordon is an award-winning journalist and author. She has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, The Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail, JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, The British Medical Journal, and others. She is the co-editor of the Culture and Politics of Health Care Work series at Cornell University Press. Suzanne is the author,editor, or co-author of 21 books. Her two books on veterans issues are Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans and The Battle for Veterans’ Healthcare: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Policy Making and Patient Care. Her other books on health care include Life Support: Three Nurses on the Front Lines, Beyond the Checklist: What Else Healthcare Can Learn from Aviation Teamwork and Safety. She received the DAV’s Special Recognition Award for her writing on veterans’ healthcare.
Paul Sullivan served as a cavalry scout in the Army’s 1st Armored Division during the 1991 Gulf War ground invasion of Iraq and Kuwait. Paul currently works at the Director of Veteran Outreach at Bergmann & Moore, LLC, a national law firm in Maryland focusing solely on Veterans’ disability benefit claim appeals against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He frequently testifies before Congress and is interviewed by journalists as a subject matter expert on VA disability claims. Paul has nearly three decades of veteran advocacy. He served as a Deputy Secretary at CalVet and as a project manager at VA Central Office monitoring veteran use of VA healthcare and benefits. He worked as the executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, where he and other advocates spearheaded the enactment of the “Persian Gulf Veterans Act of 1998.” He served as the executive director at Veterans for Common Sense, when VCS sued VA in 2007 for failing to provide timely care and benefits to veterans. In response, VA set up the veteran crisis line in 2007 and issued new benefit rules for PTSD in 2010.