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Deborah Lee James Confirmed as Air Force Secretary

Deborah Lee James
Deborah Lee James

The Senate voted Friday to confirm Deborah Lee James, president of Science Applications International Corp.’s (NYSE: SAI) technical and engineering sector, as the next secretary of the U.S. Air Force.

She will be sworn into the position later this month pending a formal appointment by President Barack Obama, the Air Force said Friday.

James was nominated to the role four months ago and will become the second-ever female to hold the branch’s top civilian post.

“My goal would be to leave our Air Force some years from now on a path toward greater capability and better affordability for our taxpayers, and with the people who underpin everything who are second to none,” she told senators at her Sept. 19 confirmation hearing.

During President Bill Clinton’s administration, she served as assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs and advised the defense secretary on issues facing 1.8 million National Guard and Reserve force members.

Eric Fanning, Air Force undersecretary, has served as the branch’s acting civilian lead since Michael Donley retired in June.

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