Leigh Bradley, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Leigh A. Bradley was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate on December 18, 2014, to be General Counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. She serves as the chief legal officer of the 2nd largest Cabinet Department and oversees the legal operations of VA’ Office of General Counsel, an organization of over 700 lawyers and staff assigned at VA headquarters and at VA locations around the country. Leigh previously served as VA’s General Counsel from 1998-2001.


Prior to her current position, Leigh served as the Director, Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office, where she was responsible for DoD’s ethics program and policies. She has previously served in a variety of legal and policy positions in the Federal Government and the private sector. Prior to assuming her position in DoD, she served as Senior Vice President & Chief Risk Officer of the American Red Cross where she oversaw the ethics, compliance, and risk management activities of one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country. Immediately prior to that, Leigh was a partner at the national law firm of Holland & Knight LLP, where she specialized in federal procurement law and public policy matters.


Prior to going into private practice, Leigh held several leadership positions in the Executive Branch, including four years as Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy, the second highest ranking civilian attorney in the Department of the Navy. Prior to that, from 1987-1994, she was a senior attorney in the DoD Office of General Counsel, where she was responsible for the array of legal issues associated with military justice, DoD support to civilian law enforcement agencies involved in drug interdiction operations, DoD’s policy on gays in the military, whistleblower protection, and DoD’s drug testing policy and procedures.

Before joining the DoD General Counsel’s office, Leigh served for five years on active duty as an Air Force judge advocate, working primarily on military justice matters. As a Reservist, she taught trial advocacy at the Air Force JAG School.

Leigh graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama in 1978 and from its law school in 1981, where she and her partner won first place honors at a national moot court competition. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the highest award given to career DoD civilian employees, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs Exceptional Service Award, and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service. As a career member of the SES, she was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in 2012.