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HEATHER WILSON

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Stepped down as Secretary of the Air Force May 31, 2019

Dr. Heather Wilson is the 24th Secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training and equipping and providing for the welfare of 685,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian forces as well as their families. She oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $138 billion and directs strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human resource management across a global enterprise.

Wilson has more than 35 years of professional experience in a range of leadership and management roles in the military, higher education, government and private industry. Before assuming her current position, Wilson was president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, an engineering and science research university. 

From 1998 to 2009, Wilson was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where she served on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Before being elected to Congress, Wilson was a cabinet secretary in New Mexico’s state government responsible for foster care, adoption, juvenile delinquency, children’s mental health and early childhood education.

From 1989 to 1991, Wilson served on the National Security Council staff as director for defense policy and arms control for President George H.W. Bush during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.

From 1991 to 1995, and again from 2009 to 2013, Wilson was in the private sector. In 1991 she founded Keystone International, Inc., a company that did business development and program planning work for defense and scientific industry. She served as a senior advisor to several national laboratories on matters related to nuclear weapons, non-proliferation, arms control verification, intelligence and the defense industrial base. Wilson also served on the boards of two publicly traded corporations as well as numerous advisory and non-profit boards.  

Wilson was an Air Force officer from 1982 to 1989. She graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in the third class to include women, and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England. 

Wilson was a collegiate rower at Oxford and is an instrument-rated private pilot.

EDUCATION
1982 Bachelor of Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1984 Master of Philosophy, International Relations, Oxford University, England
1985 Doctorate of Philosophy, International Relations, Oxford University, England

CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1985 - 1987, Plans and Negotiations, Headquarters, 3rd Air Force, RAF Mildenhall, England
1987 - 1989, Office of Defense Plans, U.S. Mission to NATO, Brussels, Belgium
1989 - 1991, Director, Defense Policy and Arms Control, NSC Staff, Washington, D.C.
1991 - 1995, President, Keystone International, Inc., Albuquerque, N.M.
1995 - 1998, Secretary, New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Santa Fe, N.M.
1998 - 2009, Member of Congress, First District, New Mexico, Washington, D.C.
2009 - 2013, President, Heather Wilson & Company, LLC, Albuquerque, N.M.
2011 - 2012, Candidate, U.S. Senate, N.M.
2013 - 2017, President, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, S.D.
2017 - 2019, Secretary of the Air Force, Arlington, Va.

(Current as of June 2019)

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Department of the Air Force announces mandatory COVID vaccine implementation guidelines for Airmen, Guardians. https://t.co/Arfo5d4yOe
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An @AFTestCenter engineer used his expertise in building drones to develop a system that brings the Benefield Anech… https://t.co/DKBVA8Isqa
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As technology swiftly evolves, so do #USAF cyber Airmen. Cyber leaders have embraced @GenCQBrownJr's vision of ac… https://t.co/cLaxcdvAeq
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RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s message to #Airmen & #Guardians leading into #LaborDay weekend: “I want to thank you, and those who…
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#AirForce & @IAF_MCC signed a landmark agreement to co-develop Air-Launched UAVs under the U.S.-India Defense Techn… https://t.co/B8sHX92G7N
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The 92nd Medical Group at @TeamFairchild, Washington, honed their skills during a week-long readiness exercise. Dir… https://t.co/RDEqLsy2hJ
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The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate @RobinsAFB_GA hosted the First Look Program workshop. The… https://t.co/uhYMqYR5d5
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RT @SecAFOfficial: Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones launched her official Twitter account last week! Follow @UnderSecAF
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RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD we celebrate the official end of #WWII and the anniversary of the formal signing of the Instrument of Surrender abo…
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RT @SecAFOfficial: Actions meeting words: In his confirmation hearing, SecAF Kendall said: “Our military is people first and foremost.” Y…
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Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, visited the Center for Sustainment of Trauma & Readiness Sk… https://t.co/Pv571RpgaW
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RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on their extraordinary efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens & others from #Afghanistan: "You off…
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The @39thAirBaseWing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, reaches a milestone with its Agile Combat Employment program.… https://t.co/u4ucRL8duB
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RT @SecAFOfficial: “We achieve deterrence by having a strong enough force that the potential enemy is afraid of us. That’s my job; to give…
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Airmen from Moody AFB, Georgia, conducted training near @SLDelta45 to prepare for operations supporting #SpaceX and… https://t.co/iBAAGOnsVn
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Reserve #Airmen from the @403rdWing at Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., joined over 250 Air Force Reservists and 4,0… https://t.co/yGq4xIPXbD
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The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
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Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
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Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
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The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
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A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
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Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
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Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
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