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Hon. Edward A. Powell

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In January 2002, Edward A. Powell became the President and CEO of the USO World Headquarters, the only global civilian organization supporting the U.S. military. President Franklin Roosevelt founded the USO in 1941.  Today the USO operates more than 130 centers around the world.  U.S. and overseas USO facilities from San Diego to Bagram, Afghanistan are visited more than 5 million times each year by Service members and their families.

Under Ned Powell’s leadership the USO saw significant expansion.  The operating budget expanded from less than $40 million a year to almost $250 million in 2008.  USO’s active donor base grew from 200,000 to more than 2 million individuals.  The organization enjoys a solid balance sheet, as well as strong relationships with Congress and the Department of Defense..

Prior to joining the USO, Powell served as Assistant Secretary for Management (CFO) and Deputy Secretary(Acting) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  At the time the VA was the second largest cabinet department with a budget of more than $50 billion.  During his tenure as CFO, the VA achieved its first-ever clean audit opinion.  Secretary Powell oversaw the implementation of a purchase card system, the development of the department’s first budget accountability reporting (the VA was one of two federal departments to be graded “A” by the Office of Management and Budget and the Congress), and he played an instrumental role in the integration of financial, operational, and inventory management of the VA’s huge healthcare system. Through improvement in its prescription formulary and prescription mail-out program, the VA saved almost $650 million annually in drug costs, while improving patient service and safety.

Mr. Powell is a Board Member of The Arthur C Clark Foundation; Board Advisory Council Member, The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Board Member of the National Guard Foundation; Board Member of AnswersMedia, LLC; Board Member of the National Veterans Legal Services Program; and Board Member Climate Prosperity Enterprise Solutions, LLC.  Mr. Powell consults on healthcare, nonprofit management, CEO coaching, and veteran related matters.

Education and Professional Qualifications

  • BA, Economics Washington & Lee University
  • MBA, University of North Carolina
  • Series 7 Broker Dealer License
  • Mediator Certification, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Licensed Real Estate Broker, Virginia 

Memberships & Affiliations | Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Public Service Award, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff
  • Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, Secretary Robert Gates
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service
  • Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, Department of the Army
  • Secretary of the Army Public Service Award
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, Secretary of the Navy Gordon England
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, Secretary of the Navy Don Winter
  • Exceptional Service Award, Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary Togo West
  • Distinguished Federal Executive, Association of Government Accountants, 2001
  • Board Member, Defense Business Board, US Department of Defense
  • Board Member, Point Of Purchase Advertising Institute Board 1981-85
  • Board Member, Virginia Association of Manufacturers, 1984-86
  • Board Member, Boys and Girls Club of Richmond, 1981-86
  • Board Member, Richmond Ballet, 1981-86
  • Board Member, Virginia Opera 1990-97
  • Board Member, New Community School, 1985-92
  • Board Member, Powell Endowment of Economic Education, 1980-96
  • Board Member, Westminster Canterbury Foundation, 1982-90
  • Young President’s Organization, Joined 1982
  • World President’s Organization