Hon. Cheryl L. Mason, J.D.

hon. cheryl mason
Strategic Catalyst and Advisor, Catalyst Leadership Management, LLC


The Honorable Cheryl L. Mason served for nearly five years as the fourth Senate-confirmed Presidential appointee and first woman and military spouse Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As Chairman, Ms. Mason led a team of approximately 1,200 personnel including Veterans Law Judges, attorneys, and operations and administrative professionals, and executed a budget of $228 million to meet the Board’s mission of conducting hearings and deciding appeals on benefits and services for Veterans and their families. During her tenure, the Board implemented several technological innovations to include the interactive decision template (IDT), CASEFLOW – a modernized end to end process of tracking claims and appeals through the Department, and Virtual Tele-hearings, which revolutionized the hearing process and improved both customer experience and employee experience by enabling Veterans to have hearings on their cell phones at locations of their choice. She expanded the corps of Veterans Law Judges, recommending and onboarding over 70 new Veterans Law Judges and expanding the Board’s budget by more than $100 million. She also championed and implemented the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) appeals process putting veterans at the center of the appeals process giving them choice, control, and clarity in the appeals process. Chairman Mason delivered results increasing and improving access and outcomes for veterans and their families by nearly doubling the number of hearings held and decisions issued in less than 5 years and driving the resolution of legacy appeals from over 472,000 to less than 96,000 during her tenure. Ms. Mason was recognized by Disabled American Veterans as the 2021 Outstanding Federal Executive and was a recipient of the FedHealthIT 2020 Leading for Impact: Women in Leadership Award. She was recently awarded the Hiring Our Heroes Bonnie Amos Lifetime Achievement Impact Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Mason formerly served as the Executive Director for Veterans and Military Spouse Talent Engagement Program office for the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this position, Ms. Mason provided executive-level direction and expertise launching a marketing, outreach and training program VA-wide to over 400,000 people focused on building partnerships, training hiring managers and HR specialists, and promoting recruitment, employment, and retention of Veterans and military spouses in VA to support military readiness, financial stability, food security, suicide prevention, and the transition of service members and their families to veteran status. During her tenure, she doubled the number of recruitment events for VA, launched a tracking program to measure success, and implemented technology and streamlined processes to deliver clear and concise training materials throughout the VA and externally.

Throughout her career, Ms. Mason held several positions at VA and other Federal agencies, including at HQ USAFE at Ramstein AFB, GE. Ms. Mason is the spouse of an Air Force veteran, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (retired), and is the daughter of a World War II Navy Veteran. She advocates for supporting and changing the culture and increasing awareness surrounding mental health and suicide awareness/prevention. 

Originally from Portsmouth, Ohio, Ms. Mason received her B.A. with Distinction in Political Science and Psychology from Ohio Northern University and her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law.