Deborah Lee James

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Person.png Deborah Lee James   TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Deborah Lee James.JPG
Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma materDuke University, Columbia University
SpouseFrank Beatty
Member ofAtlantic Council/Board
30 years of senior homeland and national security bureaucratic and administrative experience in the U.S. federal government and the private sector.

Employment.png United States Secretary of the Air Force Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
December 20, 2013 - January 20, 2017
Preceded byEric Fanning

Deborah Roche Lee James (born November 25, 1958) was made 23rd Secretary of the Air Force. She is also a member of the deep state Atlantic Council's[1] Board of Directors.

James was confirmed as 23rd Secretary of the Air Force on December 13, 2013, and started her tenure on December 20, 2013.[2] In her position she was responsible for the affairs of the United States Department of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 690,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families, as well as disbursing the Air Force's annual budget ($139 billion in 2015).[3]

At the beginning of her tenure she dealt with the issues stemming from the USAF budget sequestration in 2013, continued troubles with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, Congressional investigation of the USAF for its handling of sexual assaults,[2] and a drug and cheating scandal inside the intercontinental ballistic missile unit Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).[4][5]

Early life and career

James was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1958. She grew up in nearby Rumson and graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in 1976. She earned her B.A. (1979) in Comparative Area Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and later earned her Masters Degree (1981) in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York City.

From 1983 to 1993, James worked as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee, where she served as a senior adviser to the Military Personnel and Compensation Subcommittee, the NATO Burden Sharing Panel, and the Chairman's Member Services team.[3]

During the administration of President Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 1998, James served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. In that position, she was the Secretary of Defense's senior adviser on all matters pertaining to the 1.8 million National Guard and Reserve personnel worldwide. She oversaw a $10 billion budget and supervised a 100-plus-person staff. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 1993, she served as an assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs.[3]

For the better part of a decade, James held a variety of positions with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and from 2000 to 2001, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Business Executives for National Security. From 1998 to 2000 she was Vice President of International Operations and Marketing at United Technologies. Prior to being named Secretary of the Air Force, she served as President of SAIC's Technical and Engineering Sector with 8,700 employees.

Overall, while James has no personal experience in the military, she has 30 years of senior homeland and national security bureaucratic and administrative experience in the U.S. federal government and the private sector.[3]