Board of Directors


Kristofer goldsmith - founder, Chairman and President

Kristofer Goldsmith served in the U.S. Army as a forward observer, separating in 2007 at the rank of sergeant. He deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom-III in 2005. He currently studies political science at Columbia University in the City of New York, and is the Chief Investigator and Associate Director for Policy and Government Affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America. Click here for his full bio.

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Thomas burke - co-founder, Treasurer and chief financial officer

Thomas Burke enlisted as an infantry rifleman in the United States Marine Corps in 2007. After serving in combat with First Battalion Third Marines in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Thomas was given an Other-than Honorable Discharge due to drug use to cope after a suicide attempt stemming from PTSD. Currently Thomas is a Master's of Divinity candidate at Yale University pursuing ordination in the UCC and serves as President of the Yale Student Veterans Council and Chair of the Ivy League Veterans Council. 

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David andersOn - co-founder and Secretary

David Anderson enlisted as an rifleman in the United States Marine Corps in 2000. Over a thirteen year career he deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba, separating at the rank of Staff Sergeant. David is currently a graduate student in Georgetown University's Masters of Science in Foreign Service program and remains active in foreign policy, military affairs, and veterans' advocacy. 

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Maureen elias - 2017 fellow and Director

Maureen Elias served as a counterintelligence agent in the US Army from 2001-2006, and was in the inaugural class of HGVA Fellows. She is married to an active duty Soldier and they have three children. After graduating with her master’s in mental health counseling from Bowie State University, she was brought on board as the Assistant Director of the Veterans Health Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, where she works to improve veteran health through information and advocacy.

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steven acheson - co-founder and Director

Steve enlisted in the Army as a Forward Observer, and was involved in over 400 combat escort missions during his  deployment to Sadr City, Iraq in 2005. Since his Honorable Discharge from Military Service in 2008, Steve founded the first-ever Student-Veterans Organization at his University and has served as a Veteran Adviser for Congressman Steve Kagen. Steve graduated in May of 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil-Structural Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Platteville, and is the co-founder of Peacefully Organic Produce and CSA, the first Veteran-led Community Supported Agriculture and produce farm in the Madison, Wisconsin area.