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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs

Also known as:
Veterans Affairs Department
Active dates:1943-

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to ensuring that Minnesota's veterans, their dependents and survivors receive the full measure of benefits and services to which they are entitled. The Department provides emergency funding for food and shelter; higher education counseling and financial assistance; referral for counseling services; employment services; assistance with the filing and processing of federal claims and pension; and the support of non-profit, independent programs designed to serve veterans.


The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) was created by the 1943 state legislature at the height of World War II to consolidate the services provided to the increasing number of returning soldiers. The Minnesota Veterans Homes came under the jurisdiction of MDVA in 2007 when Governor Pawlenty merged the Minnesota Veterans Homes Board with the agency.

Agency heads:

Commissioner term, 4 years or pleasure of governor. 

Brad Lindsay (temporary commissioner), September 23, 2023 -
Larry Herke, January 2019 to September 22, 2023
Larry Shellito, January 2011 to January 2019
Michael Pugliese, April 2010 to January 2011
Clark Dyrud, March 2005 to April 2010
Michael Pugliese (acting commissioner), December 2004 to March 2005
Jeffery L. Olson, January 2001 to December 2004
Bernard R. Melter, January 1991 to January 2001
William Gregg, July 1983 to January 1991
James Main, March 1982 to July 1983
Charles Pinkham, January 1981 to February 1982
Donald M. Miller, January 1979 to October, 1980
Russell Green, March 1975 to January 1979
George Winter, February 1975
Elmer Childress, April 1971 to January 1975
Herbert Anderson, December 1969 to February 1971
Alcuin Loehr, February 1965 to April 1969
Robert G. Hansen, July 1961 to September 1964
Wilbur Lindholm, July 1959 to April 1961
Lyle Kinvig, April 1957 to May 1959
William Revier, July 1943 to March 1957

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Minnesota Veterans Affairs commissioner stepping down. Star Tribune, 9/13/2023.
MN Veterans Affairs commissioner Herke to retire. St. Paul Pioneer Press, 9/13/2023.
Governor Walz thanks retiring Commissioner Herke, opens selection process for cabinet vacancy. Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, 9/12/2023.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1957-2013.
Record last updated: 09/13/2023

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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