HomeNewsArticle Display

AF unveils official portrait of 23rd SecAF

Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Artist Michele Rushworth pose for a photo during a portrait unveiling ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. The portrait will be displayed at the Pentagon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Artist Michele Rushworth pose for a photo during a portrait unveiling ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. The portrait will be displayed at the Pentagon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson listens as former SecAF Deborah Lee James speaks during her portrait unveiling ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. During the ceremony, Wilson spoke about James’ leadership and dedication to the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson listens as former SecAF Deborah Lee James speaks during her portrait unveiling ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. During the ceremony, Wilson spoke about James’ leadership and dedication to the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Tuskegee Airmen listen to former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James during a portrait unveiling ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. During her remarks, James spoke about how both past and present Airmen have influenced her career. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Tuskegee Airmen listen to former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James during a portrait unveiling ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. During her remarks, James spoke about how both past and present Airmen have influenced her career. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson speaks during a portrait unveiling ceremony in honor of former SecAF Deborah Lee James at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. During the ceremony, Wilson spoke about James’ leadership and dedication to the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson speaks during a portrait unveiling ceremony in honor of former SecAF Deborah Lee James at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018. During the ceremony, Wilson spoke about James’ leadership and dedication to the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

A portrait of former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James was unveiled during a ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018.

Current Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson hosted the ceremony and spoke on the impact James’ tenure left on the service and her priorities.

 “First and foremost, among her priorities were taking care of people, and I think that probably showed up in a lot of things that she did while she was Secretary of the Air Force,” said Wilson. “Her second priority was readiness… and third, making every dollar count at a time when bending the cost curve was really an important part of what the Air Force had to do.”

Artist Michele Rushworth was commissioned to create the portrait and wanted to bring to life the more than three decades of service James has given to the nation.

“It’s an honor to play a small part in paying tribute to her more than 30-year career serving our country for work in both the public and private sectors,” said Rushworth. “Many decades from today when we are gone and there is only this painting to look at, it is my hope that people will see it and think there was a person of warmth and intelligence who lived a life of real dedication to her country.”

During the unveiling James thanked those in attendance, including her family, and she expressed how she misses her Air Force family and helping Airmen.

“I really miss working on the really salient or important issues of the day,” said James. “Where we collaborated and we figured out an approach and a way ahead to do things better for our Airmen.”

Looking at her portrait, James reflected on what makes the Air Force a strong and successful service--its Airmen.

“Many of you have heard me say if you can get the people part of that particular equation right, the rest is much more likely (to) come into focus,” said James. “I will say to you (I give) my deepest appreciation to all of you once more for being part of my life... I think I got the people part right.”

James led the Air Force as the 23rd SecAF for more than three years after being confirmed in December 2013.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@HAFB #Airmen and the F-35 are a lethal combo during exercise Red Flag. For more about the exercise:… https://t.co/nc7F82hPI8
A B-2 Spirit bomber, deployed from @Whiteman_AFB, is staged on the flightline @JointBasePHH, Jan. 30, 2019. (… https://t.co/SVPJe2AfGH
#USAF, @USMC & @USArmy air & ground force elements train together, strengthen skills in the field and sky. #Jointhttps://t.co/Arm1IXIaDy
#DYK: @DMAFB is one of seven #AirForce bases w/forward area refueling point capabilities, and there are only 63 qua… https://t.co/UI2SzoYdjA
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Anyone out there watch Super Bowl LIII? Well, @USNorthernCmd and NORAD fighter aircraft kept the airspace safe during t…
#AirForce formalizes policy on retention of non-deployable Airmen. https://t.co/O8yfj5acRt https://t.co/7t5ynNMgo2
It's a 2-way street! Find out how our #ProfessionalDevelopment Teams are a benefit to both mentor and mentee.… https://t.co/nxmtpZWnis
.@30thSpaceWing civilians use #innovation, reutilization, and team dynamics to save #USAF $1 billion.… https://t.co/TpFKYvaxay
.@374AirliftWing #Airmen are leading the way, learning how the M50 gas mask works w/other #USAF large-frame aircraf… https://t.co/n3cuh1OQnd
“Being self-aware and keeping my mental composure through very intense situations was key.” - Senior #Airman Jeffre… https://t.co/DM22RiBKNN
Citing health, safety concerns, @SecAFOfficial and @GenDaveGoldfein order commanders to conduct ‘100% review’ of al… https://t.co/DzvwOAQDvH
The 6 finalists of @SecAFOfficial’s #SparkTank initiative will showcase their ideas to #USAF senior leaders at… https://t.co/s9PUuNa3BN
The U.S. considers freedom to operate in #space a vital national interest, one that is fundamental to prosperity &… https://t.co/qcgciOUiTe
WARNING: This will leave you wanting more! https://t.co/8oLhRQXyiE
RT @cspan: Today on C-SPAN: 10am – Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew @atlanticcouncil 12:15pm – U.S. Withdrawal from #Afghanistan @cftni
#DYK ice can make an aircraft heavier and freeze the flight controls? Maintenance #Airmen ensure frozen contaminati… https://t.co/cymhD8VQI2
Let's start this #B2uesday off right and ready! @Whiteman_AFB https://t.co/u4zY77HJWx
Find out how integrated #combat turns, or ICTs, are making a major impact on combat operations! @DMAFB https://t.co/EBezmHLrgq