About Today’s Guest:

As the National President and CEO of Student Veterans of America (SVA), Jared Lyon leads the organization’s efforts to empower student veterans to, through, and beyond higher education.

Since his appointment in January 2016, Lyon has overseen SVA’s growth to now include a network of more than 1,500 chapters on campuses in all 50 states and four countries representing more than 750,000 student veterans. During his tenure, he co-authored the National Veteran Education Success Tracker (NVEST) research, a comprehensive study of the first 854,000 student veterans to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and in 2017 led SVA’s commitment to pass the “Forever GI Bill,” the largest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade.

Prior to becoming CEO, Lyon was SVA’s Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations where he implemented plans to ensure organizational sustainability.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Lyon served as a submariner and diver, taking part in multiple deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Upon separating from the military with an honorable discharge in 2005, he became an electronic-systems administrator at Northrop Grumman, and went on to manage Florida operations for the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team while working on an Associate of Arts degree at night from Eastern Florida State College.

After five years in the private sector, Lyon returned to higher education full-time, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University. As an undergraduate he served as president of the school’s SVA chapter and was recognized as the National Student Veteran of the Year by SVA in 2011. Lyon then served as National Program Manager for the Institute for Veterans and Military Family’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families programs.

Lyon holds a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he is an adjunct professor at the Whitman School of Management. In addition to serving on the SVA national board of directors, Lyon is the Vice Chair for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran’s Advisory Committee on Education, a commissioner for the American Council on Education’s Commission for Education Attainment and Innovation and sits on the Florida State University Veteran Advisory Board. Lyon is a 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a bi-partisan effort to cultivate high-impact leaders applying the lessons in leadership learned from the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

He is married to Chayla Lyon, and they live in Alexandria, VA.

In this Episode, you will learn:

  • Jared’s background and experience
  • Enlisted service members leading national programs
  • 2/3 of student veterans are first generation college students
  • Community colleges as easy entry into higher education for student veterans
  • “Veteran Students” vs. “Student Veterans”
  • “The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” – Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
  • History of the GI Bill and Student Veterans of America
  • Jared almost quitting college
  • Challenging stigma-supporting data in research
  • 72% of Post 9/11 veterans have a college degree
  • Providing access to data in order to support and develop the Post 9/11 generation as this century’s greatest generation
  • The Warrior Wellness Alliance
  • Veteran Wellbeing Survey
  • Changing perceptions of veterans to improve wellness

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Student Veterans of America Web Site

Jared on Social Media:





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Duane France

Duane K. L. France is a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a mental health counselor practicing in the state of Colorado. Do you want to join the conversation regarding veteran mental health? Share, like, and comment. Read Duane's previous posts and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep the conversation about #veteranmentalhealth going.