White House nominates Wilson to become Air Force secretary Published Jan. 26, 2017 Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- President Donald Trump announced Jan. 23, that he intends to nominate Heather Wilson as Secretary of the Air Force. In a statement released Jan. 25, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Wilson, and her fellow military service secretary nominees, have his utmost confidence. “They will provide strong civilian leadership to strengthen military readiness, gain full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense and support our service members, civilians and their families,” he said. “I appreciate the willingness of these three proven leaders to serve our country.” Wilson, a 1982 Air Force Academy graduate, currently serves as President of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Acting Secretary of the Air Force Lisa S. Disbrow will continue to lead the service until the Senate confirmation process for a new secretary of the Air Force is complete.