FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michael Blecker

Michael Blecker

Swords to Plowshares
Executive Director
San Francisco, CA, USA


Michael Blecker has been associated with Swords to Plowshares since 1976, only two years after its founding in 1974 by a group of Vietnam veterans and VISTA volunteers at the Veterans Administration in San Francisco. He began as a staff attorney and was dedicated to helping veterans access their VA benefits. After a three-year struggle, Swords to Plowshares was granted recognition from the VA in 1978 to represent veterans seeking benefits and in 1979, he won one of the first PTSD cases and helped develop the Agent Orange Self-Help Guide.  In 1982, Mr. Blecker became Executive Director, guiding the agency from its small grassroots origins to one with a continuum of specialized services and an annual budget of nearly $20 million.

Mr. Blecker has a nationwide reputation for dedicated service and as an authority on veterans’ services and veterans’ rights. He served on the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans (2002-2007) which advises the Secretary; he is co-founder of both the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and the California Association of Veterans’ Service Agencies. He has served on the Congressional Commission on Service Members and Veterans Transition Assistance, the California Senate Commission on Homeless Veterans, the San Francisco Mayor’s Homeless Planning Committee, the National Agent Orange Settlement Advisory Board, the Agent Orange Information Center, and the Veterans Speakers Alliance. In 2015 he was appointed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the federal Commission on Care, examining veteran access to VA care.

Mr. Blecker served in the U.S. Army combat infantry in Vietnam from 1967 to 1970. He holds a J.D. degree from New College of California School of Law (1980) and a B.A. degree with honors from UC Berkeley (1974).

Michael Blecker is associated with the following items:
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran Cultural Competency 2017, Monday, November 20, 2017, San Francisco, CA
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