Deborah Lee James


Deborah Lee James has a three-decade track record of leading, transforming, and driving lasting results in both the Legislative and Executive branches of Government (U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense) and private industry – Science Applications International Corporation and United Technologies Corporation.

Secretary James has deep expertise in strategic planning, risk management, public policy, cyber security, logistics, and innovation. Through January 2017, Deborah served as the 23rd Secretary of the United States Air Force with responsibility for 660,000 military and civilian personnel and a budget of nearly $140 billion. Prior to that role, she served as President of SAIC’s Technical and Engineering sector, a $2 billion, 8,700 person enterprise. Immediately prior to this role, Deborah served as the Executive Vice President of Communications and Government Affairs.

Deborah currently serves on the Board of Directors of public, private, and not-for-profit entities as well as an advisor and speaker on national security, business, and leadership topics. She is a non-executive member of the public company boards of Textron Inc.  and Unisys Corporation and the private company board of TeraThink Corporation. Deborah is a member of the not-for-profit boards of Noblis, Inc., the Atlantic Council, and the PenFed Credit Union Foundation. She also serves as an advisor to Bain and Company and the Center for Strategic International Studies and as an advisory board member to Beacon Global Strategies, MIT Lincoln Labs, and LeanIn.Org.

Secretary James is a frequent public speaker affiliated with the Washington Speakers Bureau and the Worldwide Speakers Group and is the author of the soon-to-be-published leadership book Aim High…Chart Your Course and Find Success.

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