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Committee Detail

Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

VA - 5294 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses - Statutory (Congress Created)


Committee NameResearch Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' IllnessesAgency NameDepartment of Veterans Affairs
Fiscal Year2020Committee Number5294
Original Establishment Date6/23/1998Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL 
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*16
Current Charter Date1/30/2019Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Health Science Officer
Date Of Renewal Charter1/30/2021Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Karen
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameL.
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Block
Establishment Authority*Statutory (Congress Created)Designated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*Public Law 105-368Designated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 443-5791
Effective Date Of Authority*6/23/1998Designated Federal Officer Fax*202-495-6156
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary CmteNot ApplicableDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*Scientific Technical Program Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The Research Advisory on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Committee (RACGWVI) provides advice and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on proposed research studies, research plans, and research strategies relating to the health consequences of military service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee reviews all relevant research and investigations conducted previously and assesses their methods, results, and implications as a starting point. In addition, it reviews all proposed federal research plans, and other activities in support of research projects on Gulf War-associated illnesses. It also assesses the overall effectiveness of government research to answer the central questions on the nature, causes, and treatments of Gulf War-associated illnesses. In FY20, the RACGWVI parent and subcommittee successfully held three open public meetings. The first subcommittee meeting was accessible to the public in person, on-line and by phone. The RACGWVI parent Committee meetings were held virtually due to CDC- and VA-guidelines and restrictions of travel due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, March 2020. These meetings supported the VA’s and RACGWVI committee’s mission to provide clear information, build trust, and support world class customer service. The subcommittee included the RAC Chair and DFO, VA-physicians with expertise on chronic multi-symptom illness, VA-researchers, a priest and women’s advocate, and Gulf War Veterans. One subcommittee meetings or “Veteran Engagement Sessions” was held at the Atlanta VA in person before the pandemic shut down all travel. Using the subcommittee to travel to rural areas where the Gulf War Veterans live, has restored GW Veterans faith that VA cares and has formed trustful relationships not only between the Committee and GW Veterans. The pandemic and topics proposed by the GW Veterans led to discussions around risk factors and prognosis of COVID-19 infection to Gulf War Veterans with chronic multi-symptom illness. VA- and DOD- funded researchers came together to present the state of science. The RACGWVI members carefully reviewed the presentations and will make recommendations accordingly.
How is membership balanced?*The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has selected esteemed government- and non-government experts, Gulf War Veterans, and community leaders who are qualified to competently address research issues related to Gulf War Veterans' illnesses and cover scientific expertise such as: (i) basic biomedical research; (ii) epidemiological research; (iii) clinical research; and (iv) environmental and occupational health research. Close attention was given to equitable geographic distribution and to ethnic and gender representation. The renewed Chair, Dr. Lawrence Steinman has been guiding the Committee forward with innovative approaches and discussions with the goal of leaping toward progress. The outcomes are evident with the number of GW Veterans attending and interacting with the RACGWVI Committee tripling in FY20 and building trust with the Gulf War Community.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The RACGWVI parent and subcommittee held three open public meetings in FY20, which were accessible virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic via Adobe Connect platform and VANTs phone line for best audio visual experience. The theme of the RACGWVI for FY20 included the Intergenerational Effects of Military Exposures, ongoing health concerns and quality of life issues for Gulf War Veterans, and evidence-based research. The relevance of the committee is critical for VA mission covering SECVA and CRADO strategic priorities in providing Gulf War Veterans with clear information (Education), building GW Veteran trust, and supporting evidence-based research with the goal of improving quality of life for our GW Veterans. Communication efforts are exhaustively pursued to gain attention of GW Veterans Nation Wide. These latest efforts have markedly enhanced the number of GW Veterans attending our meetings and engaging with the Committee in FY20.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The formation of this Committee is required under section 104 of Public Law 105-368. The Committee's revered expert membership provides a strategic mix of public/private scientific expertise and advocacy for Gulf War Veterans that is not available within the Department.
Why close or partially close meetings?Meetings are open to the public.
Recommendation RemarksIn FY20, term limits (6) or resignation due to time constraints (1) were reached. The Chair was renewed and 2-new members were added to the roster.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesNoAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionYesAction CommentNA
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsNoGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentNANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*NoneDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentNAGrants Review CommentNA
Number Of Recommendations*201Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThis is a total of recommendations for FY 2003 through FY 2020. No new recommendations were made in FY20.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*60.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentAccess GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*40.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentIt should be noted a substantial portion of the recommendations from previous years cannot be fully implemented by VA because they call for joint DoD/VA actions, actions to be taken only by intra-VA departments, actions to be taken by DoD only, or actions to be taken by Congress.Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback Comment*Feedback is provided to the Committee through a variety of mechanisms, including written responses, follow up briefings by senior VA officials and other federal program managers, oral presentations at Committee meetings, and telephone conference calls.Narrative Description*The Committee provides on-going information to VA leadership regarding research findings related to Gulf War Veterans' illnesses and quality of life issues. This process takes place through Committee meetings where recommendations are adopted, through communication between the Committee and VA officials where the content of these meetings is discussed, and through formal reports. This material informs and advises VA leadership with the goal of improving patient care of ill Gulf War Veterans through evidence- and implementation-research. The reporting also addresses lessons learned from Gulf War Veterans' illnesses that are applicable to current and future troop deployments and thus the future execution of the Department's mission. In addition, the Committee provides a channel for Gulf War Veterans and other members of the public to communicate their views and insights into Gulf War research.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$4,750.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$8,000.00
Payments to Federal Members* Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY* 
Payments to Federal Staff*$380,000.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$400,000.00
Payments to Consultants* Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY* 
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$6,300.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$8,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$37,200.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$17,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$7,200.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$10,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants* Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY* 
Other Costs$6,000.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$15,000.00
Total Costs$441,450.00Est. Total Next FY*$458,000.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*3.60Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*3.60
Cost RemarksEst Cost RemarksCOVID-19 Pandemic. Unsure what travel will be allowed for FY21
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

Federal Government
Health Care
Medical Education
Medical Practitioners
Public Health
Health and Health Research
Medicine and Dentistry
Veterans and Veterans' Medical Care


To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here




ActionCommittee System IDSubcommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-035301Veteran Engagement Subcommittee2020


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-035953Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2019
 COM-033603Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2018
 COM-001863Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2017
 COM-003201Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2016
 COM-003358Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2015
 COM-005318Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2014
 COM-006112Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2013
 COM-007318Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2012
 COM-008505Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2011
 COM-009576Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2010
 COM-010259Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2009
 COM-011375Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2008
 COM-011546Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2007
 COM-013228Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2006
 COM-013400Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2005
 COM-014396Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2004
 COM-016054Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2003
 COM-017080Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2002
 COM-018021Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2001
 COM-019036Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses2000
 COM-019258Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses1999