June 08, 2009
William A. Gunn ’86, a retired Air Force colonel, has been sworn in as general counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was recently confirmed by the Senate. Prior to his confirmation, he had a private practice in northern Virginia representing military members and veterans.
Operating though seven professional staff groups in Washington and 22 regional counsel offices across the U.S., the office of general counsel represents the VA before administrative and judicial forums, offers formal and informal legal and ethical advice and drafts and advocates legislation affecting veterans.
Gunn retired from the Air Force in 2005 as a colonel in the Judge Advocates General’s Corps. He was the first chief defense counsel in the Department of Defense’s Office of Military Commissions, building a defense team and supervising defense activities for detainees selected for trial before military commissions. He was a former White House fellow and received the ABA’s Outstanding Career Military Lawyer Award. (See profile of Gunn that appeared in the fall 2004 issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin.)
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gunn has a master’s degree in environmental law from George Washington University School of Law and a Master of Science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of Armed Forces. He earned his J.D. from Harvard in 1986.