Washington, DC – Three new Veteran leaders joined the American Veterans Committee Board this month. They have joined the American Veterans Committee at a critical juncture as the Pandemic comes to an end and the Organization is seeking to organize additional networking events for Veterans, military families and supporters as it had pre-pandemic.
Mr. Richard D. Haney will serve as Outreach Director and Secretary. Mr. Haney is a Human Resources Specialist with over 25 years of experience, working in different capacities with DoD, in the United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Air Force Reserve (USAFR). While in the USAFR, he took on a Civil Service position with the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a Legal Assistant with the Office of the Chairman at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. He also worked as a defense contractor at the National Guard Bureau, and currently a Civil Servant with the National Guard Bureau. In 2014, Mr. Haney served as a Charter Member, Director of Events, and Veterans Outreach Liaison for Northern Virginia Veterans Association, and also a Charter Member and past Sargent of Arms and Secretary for Capital Superior Speaker Toastmaster, at the National Guard Bureau. In 2018 to 2021, Mr. Haney participated in Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, and he is a graduate of the Veteran Farmer Reserve Program, farming at Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn, in Alexandria VA.
Ms. Denitza James (Dee) will serve as Communications Director. Dee is a U.S. Army Combat Veteran, a Military Spouse and a passionate Macro Social Worker specializing in Military Programs, Policy & Legislation. Her extensive work with Military communities in the United States and Internationally makes her a well-rounded advocate and ally to all who have served our country and those who support the U.S. Military. Dee has over 15 years of experience working with servicemembers, military families, wounded veterans, and families of the fallen in the non-profit and federal government sector. Dee is married to U.S. Army Combat Veteran, Retired Army First Sergeant, Jade James. She served on active duty for six years and completed two combat tours to Iraq in 2003 and in 2005. Her Military career and journey have fueled her passion to help servicemembers and their families on every aspect of military life and civilian transition. She currently works as a Program Analyst for the Department of the Air Force. In addition, she serves pro-bono as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Repatriate Our Patriots, a 501c3 organization that focuses on bringing Deported Veterans home. Dee is also the Chair for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Subcommittee on Military and Veterans Legislative Affairs.
Dee’s earlier career included roles as U.S. Army Military and Family Readiness Officer, Texas Public School Substitute Teacher, Outreach Coordinator at Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Seminars and Event Coordinator at Tragedy Assistance Program for Military Survivors (TAPS) and Community Organizer. Her passion lies within, Mental Health, Repatriation of Deported Veterans, Suicide Prevention, Sexual Assault & Harassment Prevention. Her passion extends to the development and advocacy for programs and policy and legislation that directly and indirectly affect the military, military families, and military survivors. Dee was instrumental in the passing of The Brandon Caserta Act and the lobbying and the introduction of key articles of the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will begin the work on how Military Sexual Assault & Harassment cases are handled in the Military. By leveraging her understanding of the complexity of military life not only as a veteran but as a family member and survivor, Dee can advocate and support veterans who have faced challenges during and after military service.
Mr. Jeffrey Danovich will serve as Legislative Director. Mr. Danovich has led a life of service to others. From his early days as a Program Staff member at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Delaware, to his current work in Elections, Jeff has dedicated his career to making the lives of those around him better. Mr. Danovich joined the United States Army on September 10, 2001 (one day before the 9/11 Terror attacks). His primary duty was Civil Affairs Specialist. While serving his country, he truly lived up to the Civil Affairs’ “Warrior Diplomat” moniker. He and his teammates worked alongside the State Department, NGO’s, and indigenous populations to improve the quality of life in areas that have been adversely effected by years of neglect and war. After his time in the Army came to a close, Jeff took advantage of the new Post 9-11 GI Bill and attended The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he majored in Political Science and minored in International Affairs. While at GW, Jeff was involved in organizations such as Truman National Security Project, United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), and Veterans for Smart Power. Afterwards, Jeff went on to earn his Masters Certificate in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During his tour in Iraq in 2004, Danovich’s commanders assigned him the additional duty of Battalion Voting Assistance Officer (VAO). Little did he know at the time, this would lead him into a fulfilling career in Elections. His work in elections at the local, state, and Federal levels has allowed countless citizens to express themselves to express themselves at the ballot box. He is widely considered to be a Subject Matter Expert in Election Administration and he currently works to combat misinformation and disinformation in the election space. In addition to his work in elections, Jeff is a tireless advocate for his fellow veterans who have fallen ill due to Burn Pit exposure. Himself a victim of toxic burn pit exposure (he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2020), having lived 100M from a burn pit in Mosul, Iraq in 2004, Jeff works tirelessly to ensure veterans are getting the care they need. Jeff is a native of the Philadelphia area and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. In his free time, Jeff enjoys discovering new music, cooking, exercising, and spending time with his loved ones. He is also a Kentucky Colonel, Co-Chair of the Atlanta Chapter of George Washington University Alumni Chapter, member of the Election Verification Network, and a certified International Election Observer (through OSCE/ODIHR). In spite of everything he has accomplished so far, his proudest achievement is being a dad to his daughter and son.
Former American Veterans Committee Board Members Christopher Fletcher and Asha Castleberry- Hernandez will serve on the newly launched American Veterans Committee Advisory Board. American Veterans Committee President Brandon Powell welcomed the new board members and thanked Mr. Fletcher and Ms. Castleberry-Hernandez for their dedicated service. “I welcome new board members and sincerely thank Asha and Chris for everything they have done to help American Veterans Committee. It is due to fellow Veterans stepping up to serve once again that we are able to assist Veterans and organize networking receptions.”
The American Veterans Committee (AVC) is a 501 (c) 19 non-profit veterans organization that was launched to connect veterans of the United States Armed Forces to networking and transition opportunities while promoting smart diplomacy worldwide.