Iowa VA Director Resigns, Agencies To Consolidate Veteran Services

(Des Moines, IA) -- The Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs is leaving his post for a job in the private sector. Steve Lukan ran the IDVA for nearly five years.

“I want to thank Director Lukan for his military service to our nation and to Iowa’s veterans throughout his leadership of IDVA,” Gov. Reynolds stated. “During his tenure, the department served a record number of veterans which is to be commended.” 

Reynolds is appointing Major Matthew Peterson, the current Commandant of IVA to be the Interim Executive Director of IDVA.  “I look forward to exploring how IDVA and IVH can consolidate as one agency and one team, enabling the state to better coordinate the delivery of all services that support our veterans and their families," said Reynolds.   

A retired U.S. Marine Major and 5th generation Iowan, Peterson has held the leadership position at IVH, one of the largest residential care facilities for veterans in the nation, since July 2021.  In that time, he has become a registered certified nursing assistant, established an American Legion Post at IVH, and earned a 5-star rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) each month since becoming commandant. 

Peterson served more than 20-years in the Marine Corps infantry, was deployed seven times, and held a wide range of leadership positions spanning 30 countries and five continents. He retired from active duty in 2019.  

“Major Peterson has demonstrated extraordinary leadership during his time at IVH and throughout his military career,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I am confident in his ability to oversee a newly combined agency and its team and ensure that Iowa’s veterans continue to receive the quality service they deserve.” 

“I’m honored to be appointed to this position by Governor Reynolds,” Major Peterson stated. “Consolidating services into one agency would greatly benefit Iowa’s community of veterans and their families.” 

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