COL (Retired) Mary Forbes graduated from the US Military Academy in 1983, the US Army War College in 2006, and served on active duty with the US Army and the Washington Army National Guard for over 26 years. As the Assistant Director for Veterans Services at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, Mary Forbes champions federal and state initiatives to end veteran homelessness. Her efforts have resulted in communities greatly expanding their capacity to serve homeless veterans and significantly reduced the number of homeless veterans in the state over the last four years. As a result of multiple years of community engagement, she was recognized by the White House as a “Women Veteran Leader Champion of Change” in February 2014 and received the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management in June 2014. Mary’s guiding principles of building partnerships, fostering productive relationships and providing world class customer service at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs have proven to be successful for veterans and their families in Washington State.