Those who follow the defense industry will probably recognize the name Heather Wilson, the United States’ 24th Secretary of the Air Force, former cabinet secretary representative for the New Mexico state government and National Security Council staff director for European defense policy and arms control under the George H.W. Bush administration.
With a variety of skill sets, Wilson’s responsibilities range from business development and program planning to the organization, training and equipping of over 660,000 active-duty Guard, Reserve and Civilian forces.
Before assuming her current position Wilson was a member of of the U.S. House of Representatives, where she served on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Energy and Commerce Committee from 1998 to late 2009.
As an overseer of strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human resource management, the Oxford University Rhodes Scholar has continued to make waves in the military airspace, most notably recognized as one of the first women to graduate from the Air Force Academy, former president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and founder of Keystone International Inc.
At her swearing-in ceremony in May, Wilson solemnly pledged to modernize the Air Force in a cost-effective manner and work at driving innovation.
“As airmen, you are the innovators,” she said with a nod to members of the military, press and public alike. “You stand ready every hour of every day on every continent, ready to protect the country that we love.”
With more than 35 years of professional experience in a range of leadership and management roles in the military, government and private industry, Wilson has done a commendable job managing our nation’s military in all their complexities and complications, including providingvaluable oversight into managing the Air Force's annual $132 billion budget and powerfully-directing strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human resource management across a global enterprise.
Wilson is now the first service secretary to take office in the Trump administration, and will likely be a name seen in headlines as her reputation continues to soar.
Secretary Wilson will be addressing the Potomac Officer’s Club as the keynote speaker at the Space: Innovations, Programs and Policies Summit to be held Oct. 18, 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, VA.