Rear Admiral Kent Davis, USN (Ret.), is the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. In this capacity, he manages the agency’s operations, coordinates mission execution and oversees 112 state employees in 67 counties as well as over 900 contract health service providers. He also manages an agency budget of over $200 million.
Mr. Davis is an accomplished leader with more than 30 years of senior communication, management, legal, and military experience, retiring in 2016 as Vice Chief of Information for the Navy at the rank of Rear Admiral (Lower Half). He previously served as the first Chief Communication Officer for the Commander and President, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, as the Director of Communication and Outreach efforts in support of all Air Force education programs presented by Air University. He also served as Director of Economic Development & External Affairs and City Manager for the city of Anniston, Alabama and for 14 years in the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a senior attorney and executive. Prior to his job with DHS, Mr. Davis 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.
Mr. Davis is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and also grew up in Atlanta and New Orleans. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University and a Juris Doctor (magna cum laude) from Georgia State University College of Law. He is a graduate of the Joint Senior Public Affairs Course, Defense Information School, Fort Meade, Md.; the US Army Judge Advocate General’s School (Honor Graduate), Charlottesville, Va.; and the US Navy Supply Corps School, Athens, Ga. He also received a Certificate in Comparative Dispute Resolution from Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, Austria.
Prior to his simultaneous civilian and Navy Reserve career, Mr. Davis served as an active duty attorney in the US Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, serving as Trial Counsel at US Army Reserve Command and Ethics Counsel at US Army Forces Command, both located at Fort McPherson, Georgia. Before that, he served as an active duty officer in the US Navy, completing tours of duty aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) and the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), as well as a lengthy shore assignment at Naval Air Station Atlanta.
Mr. Davis is a former editor-in-chief of the Georgia State Law Review. He has published numerous scholarly pieces in legal journals, college textbooks, and defense publications, including “Protecting a Criminal Suspect’s Right ‘To Be Let Alone’ in the Information Age,” “Swords Into Plowshares? The Dangerous Politicization of the Military in the Post-Cold War Era,” and Chapter 6 of the legal textbook Sports Law and Regulation.
Mr. Davis has received various personal awards including 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.