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Arizona diplomat Barbara Barrett tapped by Trump to lead Air Force

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — An Arizona businesswoman and diplomat was nominated Tuesday by President Donald Trump to lead the United States Air Force.

The president said in a tweet that he was “pleased” to announce his nomination of Barbara Barrett to be the next Air Force secretary.

“She will be an outstanding Secretary!” Trump said.

Some Arizona officials applauded the move to nominate the chair of The Aerospace Corporation.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, a fellow pilot, said in a tweet that she recommended Barrett for the role.

Gov. Doug Ducey said Barrett brings “a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Vice President Mike Pence also gave his congratulations to Barrett.

The 68-year-old would need to get confirmed by the Senate in order to succeed current Secretary Heather Wilson.

Wilson is stepping down at the end of the month to serve as president of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Barrett has a lengthy history of being involved in local and national politics.

In 1994, she became the first female Republican candidate for Arizona governor.

Barrett served as the U.S. ambassador to Finland in 2008 and 2009, under President George W. Bush.

She also was a senior adviser to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and chair for national working groups, advisory commissions and export conferences.

Barrett has also left her mark on Arizona — literally. She and her husband, former CEO of Intel Craig Barrett, gave Arizona State University an endowment of $10 million in 2000 and the university renamed the honors college after the couple.

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