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Name: Peake, James
Current Position: Former Secretary

A native of St. Louis, Dr. James Peake served as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from December 2007 until the inauguration of Barack Obama. Peake received his Bachelor of Science degree from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1966 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army infantry. Following service in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, where he was wounded twice, Peake entered medical school at Cornell University in New York. He was awarded a medical doctorate in 1972.

Peake began his Army medical career as a general surgery resident at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He retired from the Army in 2004, following service as a cardiac surgeon and commander in several medical posts, culminating in his appointment as US Army Surgeon General from 2000 to 2004. As Army Surgeon General, Peake commanded 50,000 medical personnel and 187 army medical facilities worldwide. During this period he was criticized for ignoring the poor conditions for wounded Iraq War veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center and other facilities. Prior to that, he served as commanding general of the US Army Medical Department Center and School, the largest medical training facility in the world, with more than 30,000 students annually.
After retiring from the military, Peake served as executive vice president and CEO of Project Hope, a non-profit international health foundation operating in more than 30 countries. Just prior to his nomination as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Peake served as a member of the board of directors for QTC, one of the largest private providers of government-outsourced occupational health and disability examination services in the nation.
VCS Editorial: Call Senators Today and Block Peake from Heading VA (by Paul Sullivan, Veterans for Common Sense)
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