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Deborah Lee James Takes Oath as Defense Business Board Chair

Deborah Lee James, former secretary of the U.S. Air Force and a previous Wash100 Award winner, took her oath of office as the new chair of the Defense Business Board during a ceremony held Tuesday at the Pentagon.

Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary at the Department of Defense and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, swore in James to lead DBB that is responsible for advising DOD leaders on best business management practices, the board reported.

James brings to the board over 30 years of leadership experience in public and private sectors with expertise across strategic planning, cybersecurity, logistics, space, risk management, innovation and public policy.

James spent four years as secretary of the Air Force. Prior to leading the service branch, she worked at Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) as president of technical and engineering sector. She also held the roles of executive vice president of communications and government affairs and general manager of command and control business unit at SAIC.

She currently serves on the boards of several companies, including Unisys (NYSE: UIS), Textron (NYSE: TXT), Noblis, Firefly Aerospace and Systems & Technology Research.

DOD also unveiled the list of nominees to the Defense Business Board for fiscal year 2022. They are:

  • Cheryl Eliano, National Vice President District 10, American Federation of Government Employees
  • Christopher Gopal, Ph.D., executive, consultant, author and educator, Global Supply Chain & Operations
  • David Beitel, chief technology officer, Zillow Group
  • David Van Slyke, Ph.D., Dean and Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business-Government Policy, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Erin Hill, chief administrative officer, BNY Mellon
  • Johnnie Wilson, a retired U.S. Army general; former director, Washington First Bank; former commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command
  • Joseph Votel, a retired U.S. Army general; president and CEO, Business Executives for National Security; former commander of U.S. Central Command
  • Larry Spencer, a retired U.S. Air Force general; president, Armed Forces Benefit Association and 5Star Life Insurance Company; 37th Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force
  • David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General
  • Jennifer McClure, founder and CEO, Unbridled Talent
  • Joseph Anderson, chairman and CEO of TAG Holdings
  • Linnie Haynesworth, former VP at Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) and independent board director
  • Mellody Hobson, chair, board of trustees, Ariel Investment Trust; co-CEO and president, Ariel Investments; chair of the board of Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX); director, JPMorgan Chase
  • Oscar Munoz, retired chairman, president and CEO, United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAL)
  • Saf Yeboah-Amankwah, chief strategy officer, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)
  • Sally Donnelly, founding partner, Pallas Advisors and former senior adviser to the Secretary of Defense
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