Governor Reynolds has announced the resignation of Steve Lukan, a U.S. Navy veteran who has served as Executive Director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) for nearly five years. Lukan has almost 20 years of combined elected and professional service in state government and is leaving for employment in the private sector. 

“I want to thank Director Lukan for his military service to our nation and to Iowa’s veterans throughout his leadership of IDVA,” Gov. Reynolds stated. “During his tenure, the department served a record number of veterans which is to be commended.” 

IDVA assists veterans and their family members with coordinating federal and state benefits and a wide variety of support services.  Additionally, veterans also receive services from the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH), a state-owned and operated residential long-term care facility which currently operates as a separate state agency.    

“I'm pleased to appoint Major Matthew Peterson, currently serving as Commandant of IVH, to Interim Executive Director of IDVA,” said Gov. Reynolds.  “I look forward to exploring how IDVA and IVH can consolidate as one agency and one team, enabling the state to better coordinate the delivery of all services that support our veterans and their families.”  

A retired U.S. Marine Major and 5th generation Iowan, Peterson has held the leadership position at IVH, one of the largest residential care facilities for veterans in the nation, since July 2021.  In that time, he has become a registered certified nursing assistant, established an American Legion Post at IVH, and earned a 5-star rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) each month since becoming commandant. 

Over his 20-year career in the Marine Corps infantry, he served seven deployments and held a wide range of leadership positions spanning 30 countries and five continents. He retired from active duty in 2019.  

“Major Peterson has demonstrated extraordinary leadership during his time at IVH and throughout his military career,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I am confident in his ability to oversee a newly combined agency and its team and ensure that Iowa’s veterans continue to receive the quality service they deserve.” 

“I’m honored to be appointed to this position by Governor Reynolds,” Major Peterson stated. “Consolidating services into one agency would greatly benefit Iowa’s community of veterans and their families.”