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Former Air Force secretary James to join Textron board

Former Air Force Secretary and three-decade defense community veteran Deborah Lee James has been elected to the board of directors at Textron in a move that takes effect July 1.

She retired as the Air Force's top civilian leader earlier this year after a four-year term and Heather Wilson received Senate confirmation for the secretary position in May.

Her tenure included the 2015 award of the Long Range Strike Bomber contract to Northrop Grumman and the launch of programs such as a new combat rescue helicopter and the T-X trainer aircraft slated for source selection later this year. Additional priorities included the development of a cyber campaign plan and work to change the branch's logistics organization and processes.

Prior to her 2013 appointment, she held an 11-year career at Science Applications International Corp. that included roles as a sector president, executive vice president, business unit general manager and director levels.

James pre-SAIC career includes service as assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs and as a professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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