W. Kent Davis, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, will deliver the keynote address to graduates at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus during a ceremony at the Convention Center at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa on Monday, Dec. 14.
The ceremony, which will start at 7 p.m., will observe COVID-19 social distancing protocols. More than 150 graduates are expected to receive diplomas during the ceremony.
Davis was appointed as the state’s seventh commissioner on Feb. 19, 2019, and manages the agency’s operations, coordinates mission execution and oversees 120 state employees in 67 counties, as well as more than 900 contract health service providers. He also manages an agency budget of more than $100 million, as well as state benefits and services for Alabama veterans and their families.
Prior to his appointment, Davis served as the first Chief Communication Officer for the Commander and President of Air University.
Davis, a Montgomery native, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University and a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law. He is a former editor-in-chief of the Georgia State Law Review and has published numerous articles in legal journals, college textbooks and defense publications.
Davis retired from the Navy in 2016 at the rank of Rear Admiral. At the time of his retirement, he served as Vice Chief of Information for the Navy.
Davis also served as Director of Economic Development & External Affairs and City Manager for the city of Anniston, Alabama, and for 14 years in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a senior attorney and executive. Prior to his job with DHS, he worked for two years as an attorney at the distinguished law firm of King & Spalding in Atlanta. Among many other deployments, in 2006 and 2012 he completed lengthy combat zone deployments in conjunction with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Davis’ military honors include a Legion of Merit medal, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal with an oak leaf cluster and a Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars. Additionally, he received Georgia’s 2017 Most Powerful and Influential Attorney award from Women Works Media Group for his work in establishing the Freedom Riders National Monument.