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Assistant Director 


Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia

Proven Leadership, Proven Success.

Rodrigo Garcia was appointed Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs by Governor Pat Quinn on October 11th, 2011 and was subsequently confirmed by the Illinois State Senate on November 29th, 2011. Garcia presides as the second-in-command of a state agency with over 1,300 staff members, a $128 million budget, 80+ statewide offices, numerous program & service divisions, and a senior executive staff.

At IDVA, his leadership has directly contributed to the successful development of the $70.5 million Chicago Veterans’ Home, the institutionalization of performance-based budgeting systems, and the launch of important new public-private partnerships that serve the mutual interests of veterans and the Illinois business community.  In addition, Garcia has spearheaded a number of initiatives that have resulted in expanded employment opportunities for veterans, additional procurement opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, and in-state tuition and priority registration for student veterans. Garcia also serves as the Agency's Chief Results Officer, the Chair of the Board of Appeals, and the Chair of the Illinois Discharged Servicemember Task Force.

A Chicago native and Marine Corps veteran, Garcia served overseas on three separate tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning multiple decorations.  He holds an undergraduate degree in finance from Northeastern Illinois University and two post-graduate degrees, one in finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the other in public policy from Northwestern University. Recently, he also completed a senior executives program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Garcia is the National Chairman of the Board of Directors for both Student Veterans of America (SVA) and the National Hispanic Life Sciences Society (NHLSS) and Board Vice President for Teatro Vista Theatre Company.  Garcia has also been named a “Top 100 under 50” Executive Leaders by Diversity MBA Magazine and one of Miller Coors’ nationwide “Hispanic Lideres”.

Outside his professional and volunteer activities, Garcia enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing softball and going to the movies, and being a community leader and advocate.

Updated June 11, 2014