Deborah Lee James nominated to be next Air Force secretary

Deborah Lee James has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next Secretary of the Air Force. 

In a statement released on Aug. 1, President Obama stressed “Deborah’s strong record of public service and leadership in the private sector [that] makes her uniquely qualified to be my nominee for Secretary of the Air Force.” 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added: “Deborah is an outstanding leader with deep experience in the Department of Defense, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations that support the men and women of our armed services. If confirmed, Deborah will lead the Air Force during a time of great consequence for our airmen and their families.” For the past seven months, James  has served as president of Science Applications International Corp. She joined SAIC in 2002. From 1993to 1998, she served as the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. 

James is currently a member of the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, an advisory board member of the Women in Military Service Memorial Foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Campaign, and an advisory board member of the Citadel School of Engineering. 

She received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Pending confirmation, James will succeed Michael Donley, who has held the post since 2008. 

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