Obama Nominates AF Secretary Candidate

NGAUS Washington Report

(Aug. 6, 2013) President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next secretary of the Air Force once served in the Pentagon as the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs.

The president last week announced that Deborah Lee James is his choice to succeed Michael B. Donley, who served as Air Force’s top civilian for the past five years. Donley retired June 21 after 35 years of public service. Eric Fanning, undersecretary of the Air Force, is serving as acting Air Force secretary until Donley’s replacement is confirmed.

James is president of the technology and engineering sector at Science Applications International Corporation. From 2004 to 2013, she was the senior vice president of the C4IT Business Unit and then the executive vice president of communications and government affairs at SAIC.

From 2000 to 2001, James was the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Business Executives for National Security. From 1998 to 2000, she was the vice president with the international operations and marketing division at United Technologies. From 1993 to 1998, James served as the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs at the Defense Department. She began her career in national security as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee from 1983 to 1993.

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, and an advisory board member of The Citadel School of Engineering.