Obama Nominates Deborah Lee James to Become Air Force Secretary

Mike O'Brien

President Barack Obama has announced that Deborah Lee James is his choice to become the next Secretary of the Air Force.

In a White House news release, Mr. Obama said: "Deborah’s strong record of public service and leadership in the private sector makes her uniquely qualified to be my nominee for Secretary of the Air Force.

"I look forward to working with her to keep our Air Force the very best in the world and to keep faith with our extraordinary Air Force personnel and their families."

If she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms. Lee will succeed Michael B. Donley, who has served as the Air Force’s top civilian for the past five years.

Eric Fanning, undersecretary of the Air Force, is serving as acting Air Force Secretary until Donley’s replacement is confirmed.

Ms. James is president of the technology and engineering sector at Science Applications International Corporation and before that she was the senior vice president of the C4IT Business Unit and executive vice president of communications and government affairs at SAIC.

From 2000 to 2001, Ms.James was the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Business Executives for National Security.

Ms. James is currently a committee 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.

She also serves as an advisory board member of The Citadel School of Engineering. James received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from Columbia University.