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Philadelphia Regional Office

Meet Our Leadership Team


Director: Lillie Y. Nuble

Lillie Nuble is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices. The Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices are responsible for administering a range of VA benefits to 1,031,660 Veterans and their families living in eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. These services include administration of Compensation and Pension, National Call Center services, and Veteran Readiness and Employment benefits which total approximately $4.1 billion in annual payments to Veterans.

Prior to this appointment, she served as the Director of the Newark, New Jersey Regional Office from October 2016 to May 2020. She was responsible for managing the full range of non-medical benefits provided to Veterans and their dependents in 14 counties in New Jersey resulting in $866 million in compensation benefits to over 631,896 beneficiaries.

She served as the Assistant Director of the Buffalo, New York Regional Office from February 2010 to October 2016. In this position, she was responsible for providing $900M in annual non-medical benefits in 31 western counties of New York State, seven counties of Southern New Jersey, and Education benefits in the 14 northeastern states, the District of Columbia and foreign schools.

Mrs. Nuble retired from United States Navy Reserves in October 2005. She served during both Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom.

Mrs. Nuble is a graduate of the Veterans Benefits Administration's (VBA) Directors Development Program (2020) and Executive Coaching (2017).


Assistant Director Pedro Rivera-Batista Image.

Assistant Director: Pedro Rivera-Batista

Pedro Rivera-Batista was appointed as the Assistant Director, Philadelphia, and Wilmington VA Regional Offices (VARO) on May 9, 2021. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Education Service, Executive Management Officer. In that role, he served as primary advisor to the Executive Director and oversaw critical operational areas such as Human Resources, Labor Relations, Budget, Communications and Education Workload. During his tenure in Central Office, Washington DC, Mr. Rivera served in various positions supporting the issuance of Compensation, Pension and Fiduciary benefits, and collaborated in vital functions regarding Human Resources, Labor, Safety & Security and other Support Service roles. Mr. Rivera began his VA career as a VR&E Work Study File Clerk at the San Juan VARO and later held various jobs as a Claims Processor and Management Analyst.

Before entering VA, Mr. Rivera worked as an Analyst with Dell Industries in Austin, Texas, from 2005 to 2007. Mr. Rivera retired from the U.S. Army as a Quartermaster Captain in 2005. He served as an enlisted soldier for 11 years before receiving an Active Duty Commission, from the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, GA, in May 2001. Mr. Rivera is a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.




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Assistant Director: James M. Lester

James M. Lester was appointed as the Assistant Director of Philadelphia and Wilmington VA Regional Offices (VARO) in November 2023. He oversees issuance of VA benefits to more than one million Veterans and their families, in Pennsylvania, the state of Delaware, and Southern New Jersey. He serves as primary advisor to the Executive Director on critical operational areas such as Human Resources, Employee/Labor Relations, Budget, Facilities, and VA Benefits and Services Workload. He began his VA career as a Work Study, before serving the agency from GS-4 to GS-15. Dr. Lester is a husband, father, and a US Marine Corps Veteran. He has worked in other capacities while at VA, such as a graduate college professor and a mental health counselor. He volunteers time to various VA and non-VA leadership programs, as well as served on several board of directors and two international councils outside VA.



Veterans Service Center Manager: James Brewer

James Brewer joined the Veterans Service Center team at VARO Philadelphia/Wilmington in September 2016. He arrived to the office after having served as an Assistant VSCM at VARO Montgomery from 2012 to 2016. Mr. Brewer has held various positions during his 18 year career in VBA, including VSC Management Analyst & Supervisory Veterans Service Representative (Coach) at VARO Detroit. He also served as a Program Analyst at the Office of Performance Analysis and Integrity in VA Central Office, and as a Management Analyst at the Southern Area Office in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Brewer began his career as a VSR at VARO St. Louis, near his hometown in Southern Illinois. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIU-E), earning a B.S. from both the schools of Psychology and Sociology-Cum Laude.



Pension Management Center Manager: David Strulovitz

David Strulovitz was appointed as Manager of the Pension Management Center (PMC) in November 2021. Mr. Strulovitz began his career with the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Newark Regional Office in 2009 as a Veteran Service Representative. In 2010 he joined the Philadelphia Regional Office, were he progressed through the roles of Rating Veterans Service Representative (RVSR), Management Analyst, Assistant Supervisory Veterans Service Representative (Assistant Coach), and Supervisory Veterans Service Representative (Coach). In December 2017, Mr. Strulovitz was appointed as the Assistant PMC Manager in Philadelphia, where he served until his appointment as PMC Manager. Mr. Strulovitz is an alumnus of Rutgers University. He also holds a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Pace University, with a focus in government management.


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Veterans Readiness and Employment Officer: William Bethea

William Bethea was appointed as Veterans Readiness and Employment Officer for the Philadelphia Regional Office on November 11, 2016. In this position, he administers VR&E benefits for Veterans in the 40 eastern counties of Pennsylvania. Mr. Bethea has been serving the VA for 9 years in various positions of increasing responsibility. He began his VA career as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and progressed through leadership positions within VBA.


National Call Center Manager Aprel Briggs-Gee Image

National Contact Center Manager: Aprel Briggs-Gee

Aprel Briggs-Gee was appointed as Manager of the National Call Center (NCC) in November 2023. Mrs. Briggs-Gee began her career as a Legal Administrative Specialist (LAS) in 2009 at the Philadelphia Regional Office within the National Call Center (NCC). In 2017, she advanced in her career within the NCC as a Lead LAS. In May of 2020, she accepted a Coach position in the NCC and later in November of 2020, Mrs. Briggs-Gee was asked to take over as Coach of the VA Solid Start Team (VASS). VASS is an outreach program for recently separated Veterans that was established to educate them about benefits they may be entitled to due to time in service. She continued her career in the NCC, where she served until her appointment as NCC Manager. Mrs. Briggs-Gee is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Aprel is married with two children and a lovely dog.



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Support Services Division: Christopher Gaughan

Christopher Gaughan was appointed as Chief, Support Services Division, of the Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices in June 2020. Prior to this assignment Mr. Gaughan served as a District Analyst for the North Atlantic and Southeast Districts. He also served 5 years in the United States Army on active duty with assignments in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iraq. His last assignment was as an Executive Officer for a Military Transition Team deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For his service in Iraq Mr. Gaughan was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Mr. Gaughan graduated from the University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Science Degree and holds his Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. He is also a graduate of the Veterans Affairs Leadership Enhancement and Development Program (LEAD).