Staff

Pete Hegseth, Concerned Veterans For America
Pete Hegseth
Chief Executive Officer

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Pete Hegseth serves as Chief Executive Officer for Concerned Veterans for America and is a Fox News contributor. Prior to joining CVA, Pete was Executive Director for Vets for Freedom from 2007-2011, growing the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans organization to over 95,000 members.
 
An infantry Captain in the Army National Guard, Pete returned from a deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, where he was the senior counterinsurgency instructor at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul. Pete previously served in Iraq with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division for their 2005-2006 deployment, serving as an infantry Platoon Leader in Baghdad in 2005, and as a Civil-Military Operations officer in Samarra in 2006. He also served in Guantanamo Bay for a year with his National Guard unit. Pete holds two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pete appears regularly on Fox News Channel as a contributor—including weekly segments on FOX & Friends and The Kelly File. He has appeared on numerous CNN, MSNBC, The Blaze, and C-SPAN programs. He has written multiple columns in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post; and is a frequent contributor to  National Review Online.  He is a Senior Fellow at the Center of the American Experiment and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign RelationsPete graduated from Princeton University in 2003 and completed a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2013.


Joe Gecan, Vice President of Strategy
Joe Gecan
Vice President (Strategy)

Joe Gecan serves as Vice President of Strategy for Concerned Veterans for America and was the organization’s original director of operations from its launch in 2012.  

Joe was the deputy director for veterans outreach for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign where he helped develop, manage, and operate a twenty-state network of volunteer activists and leaders that deployed on both traditional earned-media publicity efforts and true field/contact activities throughout the primary and general election. Veterans for McCain grew to over 75,000 followers over the course of the campaign, with thousands of active volunteers around the country.

A 2003 graduate of Yale University, Joe has also worked in both the public and private sector, including a family-owned wholesale/retail group and work on municipal infrastructure financing and business development. Gecan is based in Ohio.


Jae Pak, Chief Operating Officer
Jae Pak
Chief Operating Officer

Jae Pak joined Concerned Veterans for America in July 2014 and serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the organization.  Having come from a family with 2 brothers and 2 nephews that have served in the Army, Jae has a special interest and commitment to CVA’s mission. Jae started his professional career in 1992 as an Army Platoon Leader assigned to the 240th Quartermaster Battalion stationed at Ft. Lee, Virginia.  During his service, he deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, in support of Operation Restore Hope.  In 1996, Jae completed his last assignment with the 49th Quartermaster Petroleum Group also at Ft Lee. Jae was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and earned the Parachutist (Airborne) Badge. 
 
Jae followed his Army service with various operations roles of increasing responsibility with Capital One Financial Corporation. From there, he then worked for 2 prominent educational not-for-profits including the College Board and International Baccalaureate (IB) where he led a 30-person team located across 5 different countries. In all of his roles, Jae’s focus has been in improving organizational productivity, efficiency, and operations quality.    

Jae earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Cornell University in 1992 and an MBA from the University of Richmond in 2001.    


Tal Coley | Concerned Veterans For America
Tal Coley
Director of Legislative Outreach & Research

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Tal Coley serves as a Senior Policy Analyst for Concerned Veterans for America, where he conducts policy and legislative outreach. Tal served in the U.S. Air Force from 2004-2008 as a Russian Cryptologic Linguist, eventually assigned to Ft. Meade, Maryland. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

He has worked for CVA since 2012 where he began as a field representative in Virginia. Promoted in 2013, he now coordinates CVA’s legislative efforts in Washington, D.C., and contributes to policy initiatives. His input was instrumental in developing CVA’s highly successful Defend and Reform series, resulting in numerous events that hosted leading lawmakers and policy experts to discuss potential reforms at DoD and VA.
 
Tal holds a Master’s Degree in International Administration from the University of Miami as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of North Florida.

Tal is both a member of the American Legion and AMVETS and resides in Maryland with his wife Victoria.


Dan Caldwell
Dan Caldwell
Legislative Director

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Dan Caldwell serves as the Legislative Director for Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) and has worked for CVA since 2013.

In 2005, Dan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman. During Basic Training, Dan was selected for the Marine Corps’ Presidential Support Program, in which he served as a member of the Marine Security Force at Marine Barracks Washington and the Presidential Retreat at Camp David. Upon completion of his tour at Camp David, Dan was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines where he served as an infantry team leader, squad leader, and vehicle commander. Dan deployed to Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and conducted operations in Al Anbar and Ninawa provinces.
 
Prior to joining CVA in 2013, Dan worked for Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) from 2011 to 2013. Dan originally was a constituent caseworker focused on resolving constituents’ issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense and eventually was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff. Additionally, in 2012, Dan managed the successful re-election campaign of Congressman Schweikert in one of the most intense incumbent versus incumbent races of the 2012 election cycle. Dan also graduated cum laude in 2011 from Arizona State University with degrees in International Studies, Political Science, and Asian History.


Shawn Pattison
Shawn Pattison
National Field Director

Shawn Pattison is the National Field Director at Concerned Veterans for America. A veteran of United States Coast Guard, Shawn has served aboard the USCGC Eagle, supervised search and rescue and vessel traffic operations in Valdez, Alaska, collected intel in Central America, and was a member of the Coast Guard’s intel-fusion team at MIFC-LANT in Dam Neck, Virginia.  

Following his Coast Guard service, Shawn returned to issue advocacy as an advisor to candidates and causes.  A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, he is also an avid runner and rugby player who can be found cheering-on his daughter in lacrosse when he is not defending freedom.


Bill Turenne, Jr., Communications Director
Bill Turenne, Jr.
Communications Director

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Bill Turenne, Jr. is the Director of Communications at Concerned Veterans for America. Bill is a veteran Washington strategist and communications specialist with nearly two decades of broad experience in the private sector, federal government, issue advocacy arena, and political campaigns. Bill comes to CVA from the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, where he was a Director in the Public Affairs and Crisis practice. Prior to that, Bill was Vice President of Public Relations at Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s government and public relations firm, BGR Group.

In the administration of President George W. Bush, Bill was honored to serve as the Office of White House Communications’ Director of Outreach as well as on the president’s National Security Council staff, where he was recognized as a leading strategic communicator and crisis management expert. Soon after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, Bill left the private sector to serve as Deputy Director of Advance and Media Relations for former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. In more than five years at the Pentagon, Bill led the painstaking preparation and seamless execution of hundreds of Cabinet-level visits to over 60 countries, including several wartime trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was decorated with the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service prior to his departure.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree in Political Science and Communications from James Madison University. A life-long resident of the Washington, D.C. metro area, Bill and his wife live with their two sons in Alexandria, VA.