President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
“I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force,” Trump tweeted. “She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin”
The Air Force referred questions about Barrett's nomination to the White House.
Barrett served as chair of The Aerospace Corporation's board of trustees from 2013 to 2017, according to the company's website. In 2008 and 2009, Barrett served as U.S. ambassador to Finland. She has was a member of the Afghan Women's Council, during which she founded a program to mentor Afghan women entrepreneurs.
She is the first civilian woman to land an F/A-18 on an aircraft carrier and is friends with Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who was the first female Air Force pilot to fly a combat mission, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
“Congratulations to my friend and fellow Arizonan Ambassador Barbara Barrett,” McSally tweeted on Tuesday. “Thanks @realDonaldTrump for taking my recommendation on this important role and selecting an incredibly talented leader as next AF Secretary!”
If confirmed, Barrett would replace current Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who is slated to retire on May 31. Air Force Undersecretary Matthew Donovan is expected to serve as acting Air Force secretary starting on June 1.
“In her two years as secretary, Heather defined the Air Force the nation needs and made incredible progress in implementing the strategy to get us there,” Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said in a May 15 statement. “It is fitting that a key member of her leadership team will assume her role to keep the momentum going. Matt will do a fantastic job.”