WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is nominating a former assistant defense secretary and House staffer as secretary of the Air Force.
The White House said Thursday that Deborah Lee James is Obama's pick to replace Michael Donley, who retired in June.
If confirmed by the Senate, she would be one of the few women to serve as the senior civilian leader of an armed services branch.
Her nomination comes as the military is dealing with a sexual assault scandal, spending cuts and other challenges.
James works for a defense contractor and has held various positions during a 30-year career in government and the private sector.
Obama says he looks forward to working with James to keep the Air Force the best in the world and keep faith with military personnel and families.