Colonel Mary Carstensen U.S. Army (Retired) is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army, a former senior executive and advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and thoughtful investor for the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s Charitable Investment program. 

She has spent her career building organizations and systems to solve complex problems within and across the public and private sectors. 

Her vision, leadership, and proficiency at building coalitions led to the successful integration of civilian healthcare services for the Department of Defense, the implementation of a world-wide electronic medical record, the creation of an exemplary transition program for severely wounded warriors for the US Army, and implementation of the first ever interagency care coordination policy and integration of care, services and benefits for military and veterans. 

After two years as NVI’s inaugural Director, today COL Carstensen serves as our President Emeritus, providing executive counsel as NVI grows its efforts to engage stakeholders across the country in easing veterans’ access to services and decreasing variability in well-being outcomes.


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Nancy Berglass