The Senate voted 85-7 Wednesday to confirm Barbara Barrett as the next Air Force Secretary, The Hill reported.
“Ms. Barrett will serve as the civilian head at the Air Force at a pivotal time for our military,” Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said in a statement after the vote.
“We need to modernize and innovate if we want to keep up with China and Russia, and this is especially important if we want to maintain air and space supremacy. At her nomination hearing, Ms. Barrett demonstrated she shares these priorities, understands the challenges we face and is prepared to tackle these issues head-on,” Inhofe stated.
The Air Force has been without a permanent civilian chief since the end of May when former Secretary Heather Wilson resigned to become president of the University of Texas at El Paso.
Barrett’s past leadership roles include serving as chairwoman of the Aerospace Corporation, deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and ambassador to Finland.
Barrett’s confirmation also makes her the fourth female Air Force secretary, joining Wilson, Deborah Lee James who served in the Obama administration, and Sheila Widnall who served in the Clinton administration.
Air Force photo by Wayne Clark