Ms. Deborah Lee James (foreground center) listens to a question from Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee James Inhofe Sept. 19, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The committee convened to consider her nomination by President Barack Obama to be the 23rd sSecretary of the Air Force. If confirmed, James would be the second female secretary in the Air Force's history. The first was Shelia Widnall, who served as secretary from 1993 to 1997. Besides James four other nominees were being considered for jobs throughout the Department of Defense.