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Name: Tuerk, William
Current Position: Former Under Secretary

William F. Tuerk has directed the National Cemetery Administration since 2005 as the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He received his bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Notre Dame in 1971 and his law degree from George Washington University in 1978. An Army veteran, Tuerk served as a military policeman from 1971 to 1973.

Before entering the public sector in 1985, Tuerk was an equity partner at a Washington, D.C., law firm, focusing on petroleum regulation, environmental law and aviation law. He served as consulting counsel to the Solicitor General of the United States in the landmark Supreme Court case on patient self-determination rights, Cruzan v. Harman.
Tuerk then served on the legal staff of the Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel, responsible for national VA policies on informed consent, withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical therapies and protecting human research subjects.
In 1991, he joined the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Until 2005, he held a variety of positions on the committee, including general counsel, chief counsel and staff director and was responsible to the committee’s chairman and members for managing a full range of legal, legislative and policy activities.
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