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White House nominates Academy grad Heather Wilson to become Air Force secretary

Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, is President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Air Force, the White House announced Jan. 23, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

Former Congresswoman Heather Wilson, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, is President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Air Force, the White House announced Jan. 23, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

The White House announced last month that President Donald Trump intends to nominate former New Mexico Congresswoman and Air Force Academy grad Heather Wilson to be the next Air Force secretary.

 

If confirmed, Wilson will replace former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to become the first Academy graduate to serve as secretary.

 

"Her distinguished military service, high level of knowledge, and success in so many different fields gives me great confidence that she will lead our nation's Air Force with the greatest competence and integrity," Trump said in a Jan. 23 news release.

 

Wilson is from Keene, New Hampshire. She graduated from the Academy in 1982 manga cum laude and became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, England.

 

During her Air Force career, Wilson was a political adviser to the U.S. Air Force in England, and a NATO defense planning officer. After leaving the Air Force in 1987, she became a member of the National Security Council Staff at the White House under President George H.W. Bush.

 

"America and our vital national interests continue to be threatened," Wilson said in the White House news release. "I will do my best, working with our men and women in the military, to strengthen American air and space power to keep the country safe."

 

Since 2013, Wilson has the president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota.

 

Acting Secretary of the Air Force Lisa Disbrow will to head the service until the Senate confirmation process for a new secretary of the Air Force is complete.