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Lee-Deborah_James_wash100_2016Executive Mosaic is pleased to introduce U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James as an inductee into the 2016 edition of the Wash100 — Executive Mosaic’s annual selection of influential leaders in the government contracting industry.

The three-decade national and homeland security veteran has held her position since 2013 and is responsible for the service branch’s annual budget worth at least $139 billion.

James told ExecutiveGov in a July 2015 interview that the Air Force plans to set up a new facility in Colorado in an effort to facilitate collaboration on cybersecurity between soldiers and industry.

“We very much want to leverage the creativity and the innovation coming out of the private sector,” James said.

James also helped oversee the Air Force’s award of the multi-year, multi-billion dollar Long Range Strike Bomber contract to Northrop Grumman in October 2015 and told defense industry reporters then that the service branch used outside analysts to prepare independent cost estimates for LRS-B.

“Our goal in the Air Force will be to beat these independent cost estimates through the application of ‘should cost’ initiatives, which we have successfully used on other programs as part of DoD’s Better Buying Power 3.0 and our own Bending the Cost Curve initiatives,” James said.

Later a National Press Club event in December, James stated that the service branch wants to buy the maximum allotment of 100 LRS-B aircraft.

She assumed an additional role in October of principal space adviser at the Defense Department, where she chairs the Defense Space Council and offers recommendations to DoD secretary, deputy defense secretary and other senior department officials on space issues.

Prior to her appointment at the Air Force, she served as president of the technical and engineering sector at Science Applications International Corp. and held other executive roles there in her 11-year stint at SAIC.

Executive Mosaic offers its congratulations to Deborah Lee James and the Air Force team for their selection to receive this award.