A Filipino-American, Gina Ortiz Jones, has been nominated by US President Joe Biden as undersecretary of the US Air Force.
If confirmed, Jones will be the first Filipino-American and woman of color to be holding the second-highest post at the USAF.
Jones is an Iraq war veteran who served as an intelligence officer in the US Air Force from 2003 to 2006. She served in the military during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an era when gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members were forbidden to be public about their sexuality.
After leaving the Air Force, she advised on military operations in Central and South America with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and US Army South, the White House said in a statement.
Jones also joined the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as an inaugural member of US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany and served in the Libya Crisis Intelligence Cell.
She was also detailed to the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to serve as the Intelligence Community’s Senior Advisor for trade enforcement.
Jones later joined the Office of the US Trade Representative as a Director for Investment leading the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) portfolio.
She also served as the Democratic nominee for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District in 2018 and 2020.
Her nomination came after Frank Kendall obtained the nod from Biden to become the secretary of the US Air Force.