Filipino American war veteran Gina Ortiz Jones has been nominated for Undersecretary of the United States Air Force by President Joe Biden.
Jones was among the nominees for public service and national security posts announced by the White House on April 27, 2021. If confirmed, she will be the highest-ranking Filipino-American appointee in the Biden administration, as well as the first woman of color to hold the defense agency’s number two post.
The office of the undersecretary of the Air Force is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of approximately 697,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and Civilian Airmen, and Guardians and their families worldwide.
The 40-year-old Fil-Am veteran previously worked in the Air Force and has spent her extensive career “working to protect U.S. economic and national security,” the White House announcement read.
Jones was an intelligence officer in the US Air Force from 2003 to 2006. A member of the LGBTQ community, she served under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era, when the policy barred gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
The Fil-Am also served as the Democratic nominee for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District in 2018 and 2020.
Gina Ortiz Jones was raised in San Antonio, Texas, by her single mother, Victorina Ortiz, who is originally from Pangasinan in the Philippines. She has advanced degrees from Boston University, the University of Kansas, and the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.
Jones will join other Filipino-Americans serving in the Biden administration which includes Jason Tengco and three women leaders Gloria Steele, Camille Calimlim Touton, and Veronica Valdez who are appointed to key leadership roles in the U.S. government.
Rob Bonta was recently confirmed as California’s next Attorney General, becoming the first Filipino-American to hold the office.
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