HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

HEATHER WILSON

PRINT | E-MAIL

Heather Wilson is the 24th Secretary of the Air Force and served in the position from May 16, 2017 through May 31, 2019. She was 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)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our Cyber #Airmen take the fight to the enemy in #cyberspace, while keeping us connected w/ each other & our loved one…
RT @ClemsonFB: Jalen Williams || Transferring passion for service and enthusiasm to impacting the world through purposeful employment! Cong…
Great job @AETCommand hosting the @realchefrush. #USAF may have garnered a new recruit. https://t.co/W0RbJ9Fvrz
RT @AstroHague: Can’t wait to showcase our “Airmen in Space” @SpaceCenterHou on Oct. 16, 11:00 a.m. CDT! If you can’t join us in person, tu…
RT @AETCommand: Happy #TankerTuesday! #DYK the KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the @usairforce & pro…
.@AETCommand's 23rd Flying Training Squadron is transforming the #pilot learning environment, developing vertical-l… https://t.co/I03WAOxZe8
RT @AF_Academy: We're incredibly excited and honored to host the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen over the next few days! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/…
RT @ArmedwScience: #EllsworthAFB is looking for more innovative ways to expand the lifespan of its aircraft. Engineers are using a new deve…
RT @DeptofDefense: .@usairforce loadmasters perform a combat cargo offload qualification as a part of exercise #ThracianFall19 at Cheshnegi…
RT @AirmanMagazine: .@GenDaveGoldfein explains the @usairforce's way-ahead in advanced battle management: Multi-Domain Command and Control.…
Houston -- we are landing October 15 - 17. Cant wait to see what you have to show us! @AggieNetworkhttps://t.co/f3fDo0ntAZ
.@GenDaveGoldfein shares how success in “the future fight” relies on three key components. Find out what they are h… https://t.co/4Hhp3lW1pV
RT @DeptofDefense: “Without us, you live in the dark!” Electricity keeps the mission going at @RAFMildenhall, England. Meet one of the air…
RT @AFSpace: @AirWarCollege faculty members met w/ @US_SpaceCom & AFSPC senior leaders last week. The faculty learned about the challenges…
KC-135 Stratotankers provide the Air Force with global strike & rapid mobility. Like any of our assets we train &… https://t.co/zjATXCfQlN
RT @AF_Falcons: Maybe it will snow in February for the game... Colorado: no need to wait https://t.co/vq7KPsiITx
Cyber security is everyone's responsibility. First step, #BeCyberSmart. https://t.co/mVZr4nJoJK
“There have been some great Airmen, both military and civilian, at Tyndall AFB before, during and after the storm.… https://t.co/EiEga9ur0N
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Our community is deeply saddened by the passing of one of our own, TSgt Peter Kraines, a Special Tactics Pararescueman. O…