Mr. Verga is the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense with responsibility for managing high-level issues that are of concern to the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and the Immediate Office of the Secretary. He serves as a senior advisor on sensitive issues and matters of direct and substantial interest and concern to the Secretary. In addition, Mr. Verga is the Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for Compartmented Activities (SACA). His duties are to examine issues and opportunities across special access, compartmented, sensitive, and/or special activities to identify opportunities to provide support to the warfighter and maintain inter- and intra-governmental liaison regarding compartmented activities. Most recently, Mr. Verga was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Global Security, a principal advisor on homeland defense, support to civil authorities, defense continuity and critical infrastructure, space, cyber and countering weapons of mass destruction. Prior to that Mr. Verga was Defense Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, which followed duty as the Chief of Staff for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. From 2003-2008 he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs and a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Advisory Council. Prior assignments included; Director of the Department of Defense Homeland Security Task Force, developing the Department’s organizational concepts and strategy to respond to the 9-11-01 attacks; Deputy Under Secretary for Policy Integration, successfully negotiating the return of a U.S. EP-3 Aircraft that made a forced landing in China in 2001; and Deputy Under Secretary for Policy Support. Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Mr. Verga holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of La Verne, California, and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from Troy State University, Alabama. He is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and a guest lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Army War College. Mr. Verga has been a career member of the Senior Executive Service since 1998.
Mr. Verga is a retired U. S. Army officer with over twenty-six years of service, including combat operations in Vietnam from September 1969 to November 1971. He is a member of the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. Prior to retirement from active service, he served in successive positions where he was responsible for a variety of special and sensitive activities and interagency matters including serving on the White House staff advising on matters including continuity of government and sensitive emergency plans and programs in direct support of the President. This followed duty as Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Operations of the White House Military Office and in the Operations Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mr. Verga’s civilian awards include the Presidential Ranks of Distinguished Executive and Meritorious Executive, three Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Awards and the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award. During his military service his awards included, among others; the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star medals, the Purple Heart, three Defense Meritorious Service Medals, twenty-one Air Medals, and the Presidential Service Badge.