Acting Director Rodrigo Garcia
Committed to Serving Country and Community
Acting Director Rodrigo Garcia was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) by Governor Pat Quinn on July 11, 2014. As Acting Director, Garcia oversees a 1,300-person staff dedicated to serving those who have served. With a $148 million operating budget, IDVA fulfills its mission of empowering veterans to thrive through its four Veterans’ Homes, its 80-plus Veteran Service Offices, and its numerous special programs and initiatives.
On October 11, 2011, Garcia was appointed Assistant Director of IDVA by Governor Pat Quinn. As Assistant Director, his leadership and team-building resulted in expanded employment opportunities for veterans, additional procurement opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, the design of the $70.5 Chicago Veterans’ Home, and in-state tuition and priority registration for student veterans. He also served as the agency’s Chief Results Officer, the Chair of the Discharged Servicemember Task Force, and the Chair of the Board of Appeals.
The son of immigrant parents, Garcia hails from the historic Little Village neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. After high school, Garcia joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving three tours of duty in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operations, earning multiple decorations.
Outside IDVA, Garcia is the National Chairman, Board of Directors for both Student Veterans of America and the National Hispanic Life Sciences Society and Board Vice President for Teatro Vista Theatre Company. Garcia was the recipient of President Obama's Council on Service and Civic Participation "Call to Service Award" and he has also been named a “Top 100 under 50” Executive Leaders by Diversity MBA Magazine and one of Miller Coors’ nationwide “Hispanic Lideres”.
Garcia holds an undergraduate degree in finance from Northeastern Illinois University and two post-graduate degrees, one in business administration 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.
Updated July 18, 2014