Director Rodrigo Garcia
Committed to Serving Country and Community
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.
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.
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
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