The Senate voted 85-7 Wednesday to confirm Barbara Barrett, former chairwoman of The Aerospace Corp., as the new secretary of the Air Force, the service branch reported.
She succeeds 2019 Wash100 award winner Heather Wilson, who stepped down in May to join the University of Texas at El Paso as president. Her confirmation came five months after she was nominated for the position.
Barrett expressed support to the service branch's priorities during her confirmation hearing in September before the Senate Armed Services Committee, including the expansion of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft fleet, creation of the Space Force and modernization of the country’s nuclear capability.
She is former U.S. ambassador to Finland and served as a senior official at the Federal Aviation Administration.