Former member of Congress named to head South Dakota School of Mines

April 30, 2013

On April 25, former New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson (R) was named president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Wilson succeeds the late Robert Wharton, who died in September. She will begin her duties on the Rapid City campus in mid-June, and will become the first female president in the school's 128-year history.

Wilson, 52, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Rhodes Scholar, was elected to Congress in an Albuquerque-based district in a 1998 special election, serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. She lost a bid for the Republican Senate nomination in New Mexico in 2008 and was the unsuccessful GOP Senate nominee there in 2012.

As president of a consulting company in Albuquerque, Wilson has worked as a senior adviser to several national laboratories, including Sandia, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, the Nevada Test Site, Battelle Memorial Institute and others. She served as a Cabinet secretary under former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and as a staffer on the National Security Council under President George H.W. Bush.

In a statement announcing her new position, Wilson said, "The South Dakota School of Mines is showing how great schools can meet those challenges. Mines provides a rigorous, world-class education that prepares graduates for leadership in science and engineering at a price families can afford. It's a great school and I'm very proud to be the newest Hardrocker."


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