Air Force Under Secretary Gina Ortiz Jones will step down from her job, effective March 6, after nearly two years in the role, the service announced Monday.
She has overseen nearly 700,000 military and civilian personnel across the Air Force and Space Force as well as its $194 billion budget since July 2021.
The department’s undersecretaries typically spend about two years in the job before moving on.
Throughout her tenure, Jones has worked to undo bureaucratic barriers to women’s progress and served as a top voice on military quality-of-life issues.
“Jones has been a tireless advocate for the Department of the Air Force and its people,” Secretary Frank Kendall said in a release. “Her leadership in enabling all airmen, guardians and their families to serve to their full potential and providing the resources they need has enhanced the readiness of the Air and Space Force for years to come.”
Before becoming undersecretary, the Air Force veteran also served in civilian leadership roles at U.S. Africa Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She ran twice as a Democrat for the U.S. House seat in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District.
The Air Force did not provide further details on her departure. Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kristyn Jones, the service’s top finance official, will become its No. 2 civilian in the interim until the White House nominates a permanent replacement.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.