President Obama has announced his intent to nominate Deborah Lee James as Air Force secretary. She is president of the technology and engineering sector at Science Applications International Corp.
“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," Obama said in a statement Thursday evening. "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.”
InsideDefense.com first reported April 26 that James was the frontrunner for the job. James' resume includes a decade of experience working as a staffer on the House Armed Services Committee -- where she focused on military personnel and NATO issues -- and a five-year stint as assistant secretary of defense for Reserve affairs. She would succeed Michael Donley, who retired in June. Her nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
In an Aug. 1 statement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel voiced his support for James' nomination. "Deborah is an outstanding leader with deep experience in the Department of Defense, the private sector, and non-profit organizations that support the men and women of our armed services," Hagel said. "If confirmed, Deborah will lead the Air Force during a time of great consequence for our airmen and their families. I appreciate her willingness to serve her country once again."