Vanessa Gomez
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW, Room 2C179
Washington, DC 20202
Docket ID ED-2021-OPE-0077
August 31, 2021

Dear Ms. Gomez, 

The undersigned veterans and military service organizations write to make the following nominations for upcoming Affordability and Student Loan Committee negotiated rulemaking at the U.S. Department of Education. We represent millions of service members, veterans, and family members who are directly impacted by the decisions of the Department. 

The proposed list of topics to be discussed in this process, including borrower defense to repayment, closed school discharges, discharges for borrowers with a total and permanent disability, discharges for false certification of student eligibility, loan repayment plans, interest capitalization on federal student loans, mandatory pre-dispute arbitration and prohibition of class action lawsuits, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program have the potential to significantly help or harm those we represent. 

As such, the community of U.S. military service members, veterans, and groups representing them recommends the following to be appointed to represent the veterans, military, and family communities. These nominees take seriously the honor and distinction of representing the diverse interests of the large and unique veteran and military population with a non-partisan approach. We have taken special care to identify negotiators who can approach the breadth of topics with great expertise. 

Primary: Justin Hauschild, Legal Fellow, Student Veterans of America [email protected], 202-433-4710, 1012 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 

Justin Hauschild joined SVA as the Legal Fellow in 2019. As a member of the Government Affairs team, he performs legislative and regulatory analysis and advocates for federal policies that support student veterans. He also provides direct assistance to military-connected students and school staff by fielding and helping to resolve policy-related inquiries about education benefits. During his time with SVA, he has testified before congress on veteran transition and education policy, drafted regulatory comments on a variety of rules affecting military-connected students, and spoken at numerous educational events to highlight issues impacting veterans in higher education. Justin has prepared and submitted detailed public comments on behalf of student veterans on several matters that have come before the Department including the topics to be selected for this rulemaking, accreditation, distance education, and emergency aid. Prior to joining SVA, Justin was a Judicial Law Clerk for the State of Minnesota’s Second Judicial District where he conducted legal research, analysis, and writing for civil and criminal cases. He has served in other legal roles in both the government and non-profit sectors. Justin is a U.S. Army veteran. He enlisted as an infantryman with the Minnesota Army National Guard shortly after high school and later deployed to Kunar Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Like many military-connected students, Justin used service-related education benefits like Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill to help achieve his higher education goals. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota Duluth in Political Science, International Studies, and German Studies and a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School. 

Alternate: Emily DeVito, Associate Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. [email protected], 202-608-8352, 200 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 

Emily DeVito joined the VFW as an Associate Director in 2021. As a member of the National Legislative Service team, she oversees the Economic Opportunity portfolio, advocating for military veterans and their families to ensure they receive maximum education, employment and transition assistance benefits. Prior to joining the VFW, Emily spent many years working in positions supporting programming for military connected students for Grand Canyon University, Southern New Hampshire University, and most recently Western Governors University. In her roles, Emily worked directly with the military community and DoD and VA education leaders regarding needs and challenges facing military-connected students, and provided internal oversight to adherence to military education policy within her institutions. As a Marine Corps spouse, Emily has worked to promote educational opportunities to the military spouse community and provide resource and scholarship opportunities. Emily has been a past board member on the California Advisory Council on Military Education and the Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education and has been an active member of the Council of Colleges and Military Educators since 2015. Emily is a military veteran, commissioning as a U.S. Navy officer upon graduation from Boston University through a Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She served over six years on active duty and held duties at multiple commands as the Educational Services Officer, administering coursework for sailors while deployed overseas, educating service members on their Tuition Assistance and veteran education benefits, advising on institution selection and facilitating enrollments.

We urge you to recognize the importance of including representatives of this constituency who have the full faith and confidence of the organizations listed below. Others purporting to represent this community, but lacking similar support, may have alternative agendas contrary to the broader desires of the veterans we represent across the country. The nominations we put forth are supported by the following veterans and military service organizations: 


AMSUS. The Society of Federal Healthcare Professionals Black Veterans Empowerment Council
Black Veterans Project
Campaign to Protect Student Veterans
Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS High Ground Veterans Advocacy
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Military Child Education Coalition
Military Order of the Purple Heart
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Reserve Organization of America
Service to School
Service Women’s Action Network
Student Veterans of America
Swords to Plowshares
The American Legion
Travis Manion Foundation
Veterans and Military Families for Progress Veterans Education Success
Veterans for Common Sense
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Vietnam Veterans of America

Download the letter here:

NegReg Nominations_2021_Service member and veterans