Barbara Ward is a retired Senior Executive whose professional career spans over 47 years working in the health care industry, state and federal government and military. She is currently the CEO of Ward and Associates, LLC, a veteran owned small business.

Prior to retiring in 2018, she was a political appointee and served as the Director of the Center for Minority Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role she was responsible for supporting the VA’s mission and collaborating with numerous strategic internal and external partners, including Congressional representatives, in addressing the vast needs of the veteran population during a major cultural transformation process. She developed successful programs that specifically targeted outreach to over 5 million minority veterans nationwide to increase utilization of VA benefits. In 2007, she was appointed by California’s governor as the Deputy Secretary for Women and Minority Veterans for the State of California. She worked with numerous veteran service organizations and stakeholders to service the needs of women and minority veterans. Additionally, she was appointed as the Bureau Chief of Private and Postsecondary Education in 2005 with the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

Barbara has consistently demonstrated her passion to assist others throughout her career by serving as an officer on several non-profit boards, participating as a member of various Veteran Service Organizations and as an adjunct faculty member at several universities. Additionally, she has served on numerous panels as a subject matter expert and as a motivational speaker at various conferences. She currently serves as a member of the VA’s Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses.

Barbara obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Health Services Management, from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California. She is a Vietnam Era Veteran and served as an officer in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps.