The National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) is an organization with a history dating back to 1946. In the aftermath of World War II many veterans earned State and Federal benefits which required coordinated efforts to assure that veterans received these entitlements. Thus, states developed a Department or Agency specifically to manage veterans’ affairs and carry out the responsibility for veteran services and program.

The NASDVA members represent all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Nationally, we are the second largest provider of services to veterans and our roles continue to expand.

State Directors as leaders of governmental agencies are tasked by their respective Governors, State Boards and/or Commissions with a the responsibility to address the needs of veterans regardless of age, gender, era of service, military branch or circumstance of service. Collectively, states contribute more than $6 billion annually in of our nation's veterans and their families. We are connected by the bonds of honorable service and united by our common goal to make a positive difference in the lives of our veterans.

NASDVA group photo

Meet the President

John Hilgert, President

John Hilgert - President, Nebraska

John Hilgert was elected as the 2019-2020 National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs President and serves as the Director of the State of Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs. The department is the statewide advocate for our veterans earned benefits and services.

John Hilgert has served, since leaving the State Legislature in 2001, as the Director of the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, having been appointed by then Governor Mike Johanns. Governor Heineman retained John as Director and assigned him additional duties as a Division Director of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services with direct oversight of the Veterans Homes Division. He continued to serve the State in both capacities, having been retained by Governor Pete Ricketts. In 2017, the Veterans Homes Division was merged into the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs. He is an Army veteran of the Gulf War, having served with the First Infantry Division.