Director, Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs
Ms. Erica Jeffries leads the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA). An Army veteran, Ms. Jeffries is responsible for nearly 1300 employees of the IDVA, managing a budget of approximately $150 million. She leads a team of professionals that serves the more than 720,000 veterans through 70 veteran service offices, 4 skilled care nursing homes for over 900 aging veterans, and numerous programs for women veterans, veteran entrepreneurs, Gold Star families and Hiring Heroes.
Ms. Jeffries joined the Illinois leadership from Exelis Inc., where she served as the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer for the more than 10,000 Exelis employees worldwide. She was responsible for all training, learning and development relating to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She developed and led the Leveraging Military Leadership Program, Exelis’ signature corporate philanthropy program.
Ms. Jeffries is a White House Fellow and worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she focused on building domestic and international public-private partnerships. Prior to her White House Fellowship, Ms. Jeffries was with Booz Allen Hamilton where she specialized in defense strategy and national security policy.
She served as an active duty Army aviation officer and US-60L Blackhawk helicopter pilot at Fort Hood, Texas. Ms. Jeffries is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. She additionally holds a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; and a Master of Business Administration from the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech University. Ms. Jeffries resides with her family in Chicago.