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Senior Advisor for Veteran and Military Families

John Lira brings more than two decades of experience in advising senior leaders, managing national programs, shaping policies, and advocating for veterans and military families.

His journey in national service began in 2014 when he joined the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency now known as AmeriCorps, as the veterans and military families fellow. His role expanded to program officer, as he worked across AmeriCorps programs, veteran-serving organizations, and interagency partners to expand veterans and military family initiatives. Lira's commitment to empowering veterans continued at the US Small Business Administration where, as a management and program analyst, he oversaw the Boots to Business program that provided entrepreneurial training for thousands of service members on military bases worldwide as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.

Most recently, Lira was elected as a congressional nominee in Texas where he skillfully managed a comprehensive campaign operation overseeing campaign staff, consultants, media engagement, and stakeholder relationships across multiple states. Prior to that, Lira served in Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s office and was instrumental in shaping and stewarding the congressman’s national defense, foreign affairs, and veteran policy portfolios during one of the most pivotal periods in American history. Notably, he orchestrated a legislative strategy for advancing the Inspire to Serve Act, a landmark bill that Lira helped author while serving as the national service policy research manager at the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. At the commission, Lira led the eleven bipartisan appointed commissioners through the development of more than 45 policy recommendations aimed at expanding opportunities in AmeriCorps and Peace Corps that were included in the commission's Inspire to Serve Act and the final report to the President and Congress.

Lira, a native of San Antonio, Texas, served as an intelligence analyst in the US Marine Corps for over a decade, including two combat tours to Iraq. He utilized his G.I. Bill benefits to earn a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a master's degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2016, Lira was selected as a presidential management fellow.