WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to nominate former congresswoman Heather Wilson to serve as Air Force secretary, the White House announced Monday. Wilson, a Republican, represented New Mexico from 1998 to 2009. She has been president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology since 2013. “Heather Wilson is going to make an outstanding Secretary of the Air Force,” Trump said in a statement. “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.” Wilson graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982, was a Rhodes Scholar, served in the Air Force until 1989 and joined the National Security Council under President George H.W. Bush. She served on the House Armed Services Committee. She was a critic of the 1999 bombing campaign in Kosovo, arguing that air power alone was unlikely to achieve American objectives there. The Clinton administration did not send ground troops to the conflict.
Wilson ran for the Senate in 2008 but lost in the primary. Wilson, 56, is married to Jay Hone, a retired Air Force colonel, and the couple have three adult children. She is an instrument-rated private pilot. “America and our vital national interests continue to be threatened,” Wilson said in a statement. “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.”