WASHINGTON — Amid staffing upheaval within his Department of Veterans Affairs, President Donald Trump late last week nominated a new top administrator for veteran employment outreach efforts within the Department of Labor.

John Lowry III, a Marine Corps veteran, was tapped to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment and Training, a post that has been unfilled since early 2017, when Mike Michaud stepped down. The office oversees a host of transition and support programs separate from VA’s offerings.

Lowry has worked as a consultant in recent years, in addition to his senior leadership role with Harley-Davidson, as well as serving as chief operating officer of the Allied Recreation Group.

He has also been involved with the Marine Corps Association & Foundation (where he now serves as vice chairman of the board of directors), the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

He served 25 years in the active-duty ranks and reserves for the Marine Corps, including deployments overseas during Operation Desert Storm. As a lieutenant colonel he commanded the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, and as a colonel he commanded the Headquarters Battalion, 4th Marine Division. He retired from the military in 2009.

Lowry holds degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and the U.S. Army War College. No timetable has been set for his confirmation hearings.

The move comes as administration officials are working to shepherd VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson through his confirmation process, following the firing of former secretary David Shulkin last month.

In addition, White House officials have been unable to fill the top health post in the Department of Veterans Affairs since Trump took office 15 months ago, and they have been working to identify candidates for a host of other high-profile jobs within the department.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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