Deborah Lee James

Deborah Lee


Deborah Lee James has 35 years of senior leadership experience in the aerospace, defense and technology fields in both the public and private sectors.  Most notably, she served as the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and Principal Defense Space Advisor (2013-2017) and as the President of SAIC’s Technical and Engineering Sector, a $2 billion, 8,700-person enterprise (2012-2013). Earlier in her career, she was Assistant Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs) and a Professional Staff Member for the House Armed Services Committee.

Since 2017, Ms. James has served as an independent director of three public company boards: Textron, Unisys and Aerojet Rocketdyne, as well as a director on several private and not for profit boards.  She is a strategic advisor on topics including mergers and acquisitions, government contracting, technology transformation, space and diversity, equity and inclusion.  She is the author of the book “Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success”, a speaker on leadership and national security topics and a mentor to C-suite level executives in Fortune 500 firms.

Ms. James is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. She holds honorary doctorates from Duke, the Citadel and the College of Charleston.