CORRECTED: WIlson’s Role As Head of UT At El Paso
WASHINGTON: When I asked Heather Wilson last week if she was going to become the next Secretary of Defense, she shot me a particularly enigmatic smile on the way out the door. Now we know why: She knew she was being considered as the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso.
“It has been a privilege to serve alongside our Airmen over the past two years and I am proud of the progress that we have made restoring our nation’s defense,” Wilson said in an official statement just released. “We have improved the readiness of the force; we have cut years out of acquisition schedules and gotten better prices through strengthened competition; we have repealed hundreds of superfluous regulations; and we have strengthened our ability to deter and dominate in space.”
A University of Texas statement said its “regents voted unanimously Friday to select Wilson, whose accomplished career in public service and higher education has spanned more than 35 years and includes top leadership roles in higher education, the military, government and private industry.”
There is a 3-week “waiting period” required so she’s around for a little longer.
Now the big question for our readers is, who will replace her? I’ve sent out emails and made a few phone calls but no rumors yet. The Acting Secretary is almost certain to be Undersecretary Matthew Donovan. Given President Trump’s affinity for keeping actings in place so he can avoid Congress, Donovan may last a while. Given that people were still talking about Wilson as frontrunner to be the next Defense Secretary last week, it’s pretty obvious the insiders were caught off guard!
“Heather Wilson is a dear friend and former colleague of mine,” Rep. Mike Turner, the ranking Republican on the House strategic forces subcommittee, said in a statement. “She will be deeply missed. Hopefully, someday we can see Heather Wilson as the first female Secretary of Defense.”