National Cemetery Administration
Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs
Ronald E. Walters was named Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs (PDUSMA) for the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), effective June 2009. From June 2014 through December 2017, and from January to June 2021, he led NCA in roles as interim and acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. Prior to his position as PDUSMA, he served as NCA's Deputy Under Secretary for Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer from July 2006.
Mr. Walters helps lead 155 national cemeteries in providing dignified burial services for military Veterans and eligible family members. His responsibilities include: maintaining cemeteries as national shrines; land acquisition, design, construction, and other activities relating to the establishment of new national cemeteries; overseeing memorial programs to honor the service of deceased Veterans, including the provision of headstones, markers, medallions and Presidential Memorial Certificates; and administering federal grants to help states, territories and tribal governments establish Veterans cemeteries.
He was instrumental in efforts to modernize the approach to memorializing Veterans by establishing the Veterans Legacy Program and Veterans Legacy Memorial.
Mr. Walters represents NCA at congressional hearings, in briefings with members of Congress and their staff, Veterans Service Organizations, the Office of Management and Budget, advisory committees, and other interested groups. In his previous position, he was responsible for the successful implementation of key legislative mandates to include the Chief Financial Officers Act and the Government Performance and Results Act within NCA.
He began a career with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1985 as a Budget Analyst in the Controller's office and held various other management positions during his tenure. In October 2003, he accepted a position as the Associate Chief Financial Officer for Budget and Planning in the Office of Personnel Management until joining NCA in 2006.
Mr. Walters earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington University. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. He has received two Presidential Rank Awards (Meritorious and Distinguished) and was a finalist for the 2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to American Medal in Management Excellence. Mr. Walters is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Updated June 2021