BOSTON (WWLP) – A retired Brigadier General in the Massachusetts National Guard has been appointed as the first-ever Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services (EOVS).

The announcement was made Thursday of Secretary Jon Santiago appointing Andrea Gayle-Bennett by the Executive Offices of Veterans’ Services. Dr. Gayle-Bennett joined the Massachusetts National Guard in 1983 and earned the Brigadier General rank in 2019. For 37 years, she was a Physician Assistant at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston.

She will serve as a strategic partner to Secretary Santiago and lead important initiatives related to EOVS services and programming at the Veterans’ Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Andrea Gayle-Bennett to the Healey – Driscoll Administration as Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Dr. Gayle-Bennett’s distinguished career in medicine and military service make her uniquely qualified to take on this important role and support Secretary Santiago and our entire administration in our efforts to advance the health and well-being of Massachusetts’ veterans.” 

“Dr. Gayle-Bennett’s exceptional qualifications and remarkable dedication to both health care and military service make her the ideal candidate for the position of Deputy Secretary,” said Secretary Jon Santiago. “I have full confidence that she will enhance our efforts in serving the Massachusetts veteran community through her leadership and passion for supporting veterans.” 

“Sheryl Sandberg, the author of ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,’ wisely remarked, ‘If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship…get on.’ Drawing inspiration from these words, I am embracing this opportunity with immense gratitude,” said Andrea Gayle-Bennett. “I am thrilled to have the chance to make a positive contribution on behalf of veterans in the Commonwealth and to collaborate with this esteemed team as part of the Healey-Driscoll administration.”