Secretary Jon Santiago announced the appointment of Dr. Andrea Gayle-Bennett as the first-ever Deputy Secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services (EOVS). Dr. Gayle-Bennett, a retired Brigadier General in the Massachusetts National Guard and a distinguished healthcare professional, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this vital role. The Deputy Secretary will serve as a strategic partner to Secretary Santiago and lead important initiatives related to EOVS services and programming.
“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.”
Dr. Gayle-Bennett holds a Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) degree from the University of Lynchburg, a Master of Education degree from Lesley College, and a Bachelor of Science in allied health from Sophie Davies School of Medicine. She has a distinguished career spanning over three decades, including 37 years as a Physician Assistant at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, where she demonstrated exceptional skills delivering comprehensive medical care.
Joining the Massachusetts National Guard in 1983, Dr. Gayle-Bennett rose through the ranks and held positions such as State Surgeon, Deputy Commander, and Chief Physician Assistant. In 2019, she earned the Brigadier General (MA) rank due to her dedication and leadership.
In 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature passed significant legislation reforming veterans’ governance, structure, and care at the two Massachusetts Veterans’ Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. As part of these reforms, the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services was created, with the Deputy Secretary being appointed by the Secretary.