071_lnvb (1)

Leave No Veteran Behind invites you to a discussion on investing in and creating innovative community solutions led by Veterans at the Leave No Veteran Behind Impact Reception and Panel on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the United States Navy Memorial, located at 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20004.

Entitled “Creating Veteran Pipelines Into Civic Solutions,” the panel will address how to leverage Veterans as assets in communities across America. While their military service is lauded, Veterans often return to communities to face invisible barriers to employment and community engagement. The panelists will illustrate how leadership and technical skills acquired in the military can translate into the civic sphere. We seek to reframe the conversation around traditional notions and expectations of Veterans. The audience will leave the panel discussion with new ideas of how Veterans can serve as innovative resources for community efforts, business solutions, and social enterprises.

Where: United States Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20004

When: Thursday, May 14, 2015, 7:30pm

The discussion will be moderated by Eli Williamson, President/Co-Founder of LNVB, Director of the McCormick Foundation’s Veterans Program, and Army Veteran. The panelists will include:

  • Rosye B. Cloud – Senior Advisor for Veteran Employment and Acting Director of Office of Transition, Employment, and Economic Impact, 
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Justin Ford – General Manager, Dog Tag Inc .
  • Abdul Henderson – Executive Director, Congressional Black Caucus
  • Dana Hendrickson – Director, Outreach and Advocacy for Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

For more information or to be invited, please contact Eliot Williamson, Director of Development, eliot.williamson at leavenoveteranbehind.org.


Eli Williamson

President/Co-Founder of LNVB, Director of McCormick Foundation, Army Veteran

Eli Williamson, Director of the Veterans Program for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is a former staff sergeant with the U. S. Army and co-founder of Leave No Veteran Behind, an Illinois-based non-profit focused on employment opportunities for veterans. While serving as Executive Director at Leave No Veteran Behind, Eli implemented debt relief and transitional employment programs, workforce skills training, and community service opportunities for veterans making the transition from military to civilian life.

Prior to 2009, Eli served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of “psychological operations” teams and as an Arabic linguist, working on outreach to civilian communities and supporting special operations forces. Before leaving the Army, Eli served as a retention officer, providing career counseling to a battalion of over 100 soldiers. He is the recipient of numerous awards and medals, including the Bronze Star, two Army Achievement Medals, an Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals.

Eli received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Linguistics (with a minor in African studies) from Luther College in Iowa and is presently completing a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from DePaul University. Eli also worked as a wildland firefighter in Missoula MT and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Truman National Security Project.


Rosye B. Cloud

Senior Advisor for Veteran Employment and Acting Director of Office of Transition, Employment, and Economic Impact,
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Ms. Cloud’s primary focus at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the economic success of Veterans, transitioning Service members, and their families by promoting increased education, training, and employment opportunities. Ms. Cloud’s priorities are developing partnerships with the private sector and deploying place- based strategies to amplify the impact of VA benefits and programs.

Ms. Cloud’s initiatives engage employers and other key stakeholders at the national and local levels to collectively demonstrate the value Veterans bring to the workforce and to their communities. Ms. Cloud oversees VA’s portion of the interagency Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which provides information and guidance on VA benefits such as health care, compensation, life insurance, and home loans, as well as vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits information and counseling. TAP reaches over 250,000 transitioning Service members, to include the National Guard and Reserve Component, each year in over 100 locations worldwide.

Prior to her appointment to VA, Ms. Cloud served as the White House Policy Director for Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Military Families, where she acted as the Administration’s Cross-Agency Priority Goal Lead for Veteran Career Readiness. Ms. Cloud played a key role in providing recommendations to the President on improving mental health and substance abuse treatment services for Veterans, Service members, and their families. She also led efforts from the White House to modernize the Transition Assistance Program – the first major overhaul to the program in over 20 years. In addition to her experience with Veterans and their families, Ms. Cloud previously served as the Executive Director of the Performance Improvement Council at the Office of Management and Budget, where she coordinated performance reviews and strategy improvement.

Ms. Cloud holds graduate degrees and executive postgraduate certificates in business, human relations, organizational development, innovation, and corporate strategy from the Harvard Business School, UVA Darden Business School, MIT Sloan, and the University of Oklahoma. In 2008, Ms. Cloud matriculated to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and graduated with an advanced degree in National Resource Strategy.


Justin Ford

General Manager, Dog Tag Inc .

Justin Ford serves as the General Manager of Dog Tag Inc. In this role, he manages the business side of the organization. Justin leads Dog Tag’s students through the hands-on entrepreneurship-focused business rotation. Upon joining the organization, he played an intricate role in the development of the student recruitment process.

Before transitioning into business, Justin worked in Florida politics for a number of years before coming to Washington, DC to create a leadership development program for military and defense leaders who are continuing their public service with the Truman National Security Project & Center for National Policy. Concurrently, he served as the President of a political action committee working on behalf of veterans. From 2000-2004, Justin served in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Combat Engineer. During the Kosovo conflict, he participated in NATO peacekeeping missions and later served as a non-commissioned officer during the first year of the Iraq War. In 2012, he was selected as a national delegate with the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL). In addition, he continues to serve on George Washington University’s Center for a Second Service Board of Advisors.


Abdul Henderson

Executive Director, Congressional Black Caucus

Abdul Henderson is the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) where he serves as the strategic operations and policy advisor for the Caucus and its 46 members. While managing the daily activities of the CBC, Mr. Henderson works closely with Members and their Chiefs of Staff to coordinate and implement Caucus priorities and its legislative agenda. Formerly, Mr. Henderson was the Director of International Affairs for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, where he served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Veteran Affairs on matters relating to global and intergovernmental relations.

Mr. Henderson also served as the Chief of Staff to former Representative Diane E. Watson (D-CA) where as her chief policy advisor, he was responsible for developing and implementing all policy objectives, strategies, and operating plans. As a member of the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Henderson was a member of 3rd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO). In January 2003, he was called to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon his return from the War in Iraq, Mr. Henderson was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Armed Forces Reserved Medal with “M” device. As a result of his heroism fighting as a foreign national with the British 16th Air Assault Brigade, Mr. Henderson qualifies for the United Kingdom’s Iraq Medal of Service.


Dana Hendrickson

Director, Outreach and Advocacy for Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

Dana serves as Director of Outreach and Advocacy for the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA). She has a strong foundation in public service, including to the State of Delaware and Maryland, and the Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities. Dana received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware (1997) and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Towson University (2005).

Dana began her service to veterans in 2012 with Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans, a behavioral health initiative under the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Now with MDVA, she is responsible for managing the Department’s website and social media presence, designing written publications, providing outreach and briefings on veteran services and leading various initiatives. Dana served as project lead on Operation Hire: Maryland’s 100 Day Veteran Hiring Challenge, a statewide initiative in 2014 which encouraged businesses to develop or expand upon established veteran hiring and retention programs.

Dana is the proud spouse of a Combat Veteran and resides in Anne Arundel County with her husband and two sons.