J.S. (Sam) Shellenberger, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations and Management and at the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). In this role he oversees budget of more than $300M and over 220 employees. VETS provides oversight for grants and contracts that support employment for veterans and transitioning service members; conducts investigations related to USERRA and Veterans Preference; conducts outreach to employers, and provides administrative and operational support for efforts that serve veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Mr. Shellenberger has overseen improvements and expansions to the Transition Assistance Program and provided greater flexibility to states in providing employment services to Vietnam era veterans.
Prior to coming to VETS, Mr. Shellenberger served as the Comptroller for the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, overseeing the financial and performance aspects of DOL benefit programs for workers who are injured or become ill on the job. Other executive assignments have included Deputy Inspector General for Management and Policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Sam is a career public servant. He began as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy where he spent 8 years on active duty aboard 2 combatant ships, and served as a Navy ROTC instructor at Purdue University. He transferred to the Navy Reserve in 1989 and served for 17 years in assignments supporting a number of US and NATO commands. In 2007 he retired as a Navy Captain (O6) with 25 years of service.
Sam holds an MA in Political Science / Public Policy from Purdue University; a BA in Social Science from Colorado State University, and is a graduate of the Navy War College, College of Command and Staff. He and his wife Laurie live in Springfield Virginia and have three adult children. Sam volunteers with the Arlington County Extension Service as a Financial Education Volunteer. His hobbies include kayaking, camping, and travel.