This article has been updated. Jan. 23, 2017. 4:06 PM EST.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will pick former Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-N.M) to serve as the next Secretary of the Air Force, the White House said Monday.
“Heather Wilson is going to make an outstanding Secretary of the Air Force,” Trump said in a statement. “Her distinguished military service, high level of knowledge, and success in so many different fields gives me great confidence that she will lead our nation’s Air Force with the greatest competence and integrity.”
She is a graduate of the U.S. Air Forces Academy, a Rhodes Scholar and a former Air Force Captain. She was part of President George H. W. Bush’s National Security Council.
After leaving the NSC in 1991, Wilson founded Keystone International, Inc., a company that promoted business development in the United States and Russia. She has since sold the New Mexico-based business.
Wilson represented New Mexico’s 1st district from 1998 to 2009 in the House of Representatives, during the time she served on the House Armed Services Committee. She has been president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology since 2013.
If confirmed for the role, she would play a part in Trump’s planned military build-up.
“America and our vital national interests continue to be threatened,” Wilson said in a statement carried by the White House. “I will do my best, working with our men and women in the military, to strengthen American air and space power to keep the country safe.”
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) called Wilson an “excellent choice” for the role in a statement Monday.
“I know her to be a serious and thoughtful leader who is well-equipped to meet the challenges we face in national security. I look forward to working with her in this new role,” Thornberry said.