THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2017
President Donald J. Trump Intends To Nominate Heather Wilson as Secretary of the Air Force
(Washington, DC) – President Donald J. Trump today announced he intends to nominate the President of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and former United States Congresswoman Heather Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Air Force. If confirmed, she will be the first Air Force Academy graduate to become Secretary of the Air Force.
Dr. Wilson has been President of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology since 2013 – an engineering and science university that is one of the best returns on investment for a college education in America. Wilson has grown enrollment and increased research at the university while earning a reputation as a sound financial manager and accessible leader. From 1998 to 2009, Wilson represented New Mexico in the U.S. Congress, where she was a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and chaired the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. She also served on the House Armed Services Committee. Before being elected to the Congress, Wilson ran a large state government agency in New Mexico.
“Heather Wilson is going to make an outstanding Secretary of the Air Force,” said President Trump. “Her distinguished military service, high level of knowledge, and success in so many different fields gives me great confidence that she will lead our nation’s Air Force with the greatest competence and integrity. Our debt to America’s men and women in uniform is eternal. Their service is an inspiration to us all and we honor their service and sacrifice.”
“America and our vital national interests continue to be threatened,” said Wilson. “I will do my best, working with our men and women in the military, to strengthen American air and space power to keep the country safe.”
Wilson grew up in Keene, NH and was in the third class to include women at the U.S. Air Force Academy. She graduated in 1982. She earned masters and doctoral degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England. She served as an Air Force officer in Europe during the Cold War and on the National Security Council Staff under President George H.W. Bush during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
The daughter and granddaughter of aviators, Wilson is an instrument rated private pilot. Wilson is married to Jay Hone, an attorney and retired Air Force Colonel. They have three adult children.