WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs unanimously approved the nomination of Ray Jefferson to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training. Mr. Jefferson, a disabled veteran, previously served the State of Hawaii as Deputy Director for the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).
Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) issued the following statement after the vote:
“From the moment he put his life in danger and lost his hand protecting his fellow troops, Ray Jefferson has demonstrated an uncommon instinct to serve and sacrifice for his country. I look forward to working with him and urge my colleagues to confirm him without delay.” Less than two weeks ago, the Committee met to review the nomination. His nomination now moves to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote.
Mr. Jefferson is a West Point graduate and veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served as an officer with Infantry and Special Forces units. In 1995, while attempting to protect his fellow servicemembers from a live grenade, he lost all five fingers on his left hand. Following his injury, he spent six months recovering at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. After graduating from Harvard’s Business School and School of Government and serving as a White House and Fulbright Fellow, he returned to the islands to serve as the number two leader at DBEDT.
August 3, 2009