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Honorable Deborah Lee James (Chair)

Former Secretary, US Air Force

From December 2013 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.  She was the second woman to ever lead a military service in the United States.

Prior to this role, she served as President of SAIC's Technical and Engineering sector, a $2 billion, 8,700-person enterprise.  Earlier in her career, Deborah held other P&L positions and worked in the Legislative Branch of government and the Department of Defense (DoD).  

Deborah has deep expertise in strategic planning, risk management, public policy, cyber security, space, logistics, and innovation.  Deborah is a proficient speaker on business and government topics, including issues in national security and world affairs, politics in Washington, business transformation leadership, mergers and acquisitions, cost reduction strategies, and diversity and inclusion.

She is an accomplished keynote speaker and enjoys working one-on-one as an Executive Mentor with C-suite level professions, sharing her expertise and providing advice on team building, organizational change management, partnering with the Federal Government, and transformational technology.  Deborah is the author of the new book “Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success” and she periodically appears on MSNBC, CBS, and other national news programs.  Finally, Deborah serves on various for-profit and non-profit boards of directors.  Deborah became a member and Chair of the Defense Business Board upon her appointment in September 2021.

Previous Experience

  • 23rd Secretary of the United States Air Force

  • SAIC, President, Technical and Engineering Sector

  • SAIC, Executive Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs

  • SAIC, General Manager, Command and Control Business Unit

  • Business Executives for National Security (BENS), Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

  • Vice President, United Technologies, International Operations, and Marketing

  • Assistant Secretary of Defense, Reserve Affairs, DoD

  • Armed Services Committee, US House of Representatives

Education

  • Columbia University, School of International & Public Affairs - MIA, International Affairs

  • Duke University - AB, Comparative Area Studies

Today’s Affiliations

  • Member, Board of Directors:  Textron, Unisys, Noblis, Systems & Technology Research, Atlantic Council, and PenFed Foundation

  • Advisor:  Beacon Global Strategies LLC, Leanln.org, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory, Ursa Major Tech, and SOSi

  • Executive Mentor, ExCO Leadership

  • Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Parent Members

Craig Albright
Craig Albright
Senior Finance Executive Xerox Corp (Former), Board Member & Executive Advisor
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A.A
Alex Alonso, Ph.D.
Chief Knowledge Officer Society for Human Resource Management
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J.A.
Joseph Anderson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Tag Holdings, LLC
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D.B.
David Beitel
Chief Technology Officer, Zillow Group
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S.D
Sally Donnelly
Founding Partner, Pallas Advisors
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C.E.
Cheryl Eliano
District 10 National Vice President, American Federation Of Government Employees
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C.G.
Christopher S. Gopal, Ph.D.
Executive, Consultant, Author & Educator, Global Supply Chain & Operations
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L.H.
Linnie M. Haynesworth
Co-Chair, Defense Business Board, Former Vice President, Northrop Grumman; & Independent Board Director
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E.H.
Erin Hill, J.D.
Deputy Chief Auditor, BNY Mellon
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S.LN.
Suzanne Leopoldi-Nichols
Former Chief Global Business Solutions Officer, WPP’s Global Procurement
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J.M.
Jennifer McClure
Founder & CEO, Unbridled Talent, LLC
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O.M.
Oscar Munoz
Retired Chairman, President & CEO United Airlines
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L.S.
General Larry Spencer, US Air Force (Ret)
President, Armed Forces Benefit Association
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D.W.
David Van Slyke, Ph.D.
Dean, The Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs Syracuse University
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J.V.
General Joseph L. Votel, US Army (Ret)
Former Commander, US Central Command and US Special Operations Command
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D.W.
Honorable David M. Walker
Former Comptroller General of the United States
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J.W
General Johnnie Wilson, US Army (Ret)
Former Commanding General, US Army Materiel Command
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Robert Wolf
Robert Wolf
Founder, 32 Advisors
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S.Y
Safroadu "Saf" Yeboah-Amankwah
Senior VP & Chief Strategy Officer, Intel Corporation
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Subcommittee Members

A.B.
Anand Bahl, Chief Information Officer, Micron Technology, Inc.
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G.B
Greg Bowman, J.D., Chief Innovation Officer & Vice President of Corporate Development, Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.
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M.D.
Matthew Daniel, Principal of Talent Strategy, Guild Education
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M.K.
Marachel Knight, Senior Technology & Operations Executive AT&T (Former) and Board Director, Marvell Technology, Inc.
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Sarah Mineiro
Sarah Mineiro, Founder and CEO of Tanagra Enterprises
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E.R.
The Honorable Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director, Belfer Center for Science and Internal Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
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B.S.
Brig Gen Bernard Skoch, US Air Force (Ret), Chair of the Board, Air and Space Forces Association
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S.S.
Stan Soloway, President & CEO, Celero Strategies, LLC
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P.,Z.
Patricia J. Zarodkiewicz, President, PatZ Consulting, LLC
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