Deborah Lee JamesGlobal Advisor
  • United States

Deborah Lee James’ Bio

Deborah Lee James is a senior advisor supporting engagements in market and business strategy for clients in aerospace, defense technology services and solutions, and government contracting.

Ms. James has a 37-year career in the national security space, including assignments in government and the private sector.

From 2013-2017, she served as the 23rd Secretary of the US Air Force, responsible for 660,000 active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel. She was responsible for a $139 billion budget supporting people, training, equipment, and technology investments.

Earlier in her government career, Ms. James served as an Assistant Secretary of Defense and professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee.

In the private sector, Ms. James was the president of the Technical and Engineering Sector of SAIC, responsible for $2 billion annual revenue and 8,700 employees.

Today, she serves on the boards of directors of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) and Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) as well as several private companies and not-for profits.

She is the author of Aim High, Chart Your Course and Find Success and speaks to audiences regularly on leadership principles and timely national security matters.


Ms. James is a graduate of Duke University (AB in Comparative Area Studies) and Columbia University (Masters, International Affairs). She is a recipient of honorary degrees from Duke University, the College of Charleston, and the Citadel.

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