David Puente Jr.
David Puente Jr. is the Director of YOUR Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. He has served as WDVA’s deputy director since February 2020. In this role he led the State Veterans Homes program through the pandemic, which began just one month following his appointment. His operational leadership and knowledge helped to ensure that critical processes were in place ensuring residents in the State Veterans Homes had critical equipment and supplies necessary for their health and safety.
He was also instrumental in bringing the principles of organizational change management to the agency, which has experienced considerable change over the last several years with the addition of several new programs. Puente is focused on improving workplace culture. He participates as a speaker and facilitator with the state's Office of Equity to provide a space for state employees to discuss topics of belonging, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Prior to DVA he served as the assistant director for Labor and Industries, Field Services and Public Safety Division, where he was responsible for 19 field offices throughout Washington.
Puente is an Army Veteran, serving in the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command and achieving the rank of Sergeant. After his service as a Sergeant in the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, David joined the Department of Labor and Industries as a fraud investigator in 1992 where his career would expand over the next 28 years. He shifted to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and promoted into several positions; safety and health specialist and industrial hygienist, regional compliance manager, statewide compliance manager and deputy assistant director for the division. His path continued as the director of Human Resources and finally served as the assistant director of Field Services and Public Safety.
David has a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational safety and health from Central Washington University. He enjoys serving his community by officiating baseball and football as a member of the Washington Officials Association. He is also a member of the South Sound Football Official Association, Thurston County Youth Football League, and South Sound Umpires Association.