Helms Nominated for Woodrow Center Board

President Barack Obama has nominated retired Lt. Gen. Susan Helms to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Helms retired from the Air Force last year as commander of the 14th Air Force, after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) blocked her nomination for vice commander of Air Force Space Command. McCaskill, at the time, expressed “deep concerns over Helms’ decision” to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict in a sexual assault case when she served as a court-martial convening authority. McCaskill said the decision “sent a damaging message to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking justice in the military justice system” and she could not uphold the nomination, despite Helms’ many accomplishments in the space arena. Helms is a former astronaut and the first American military woman in space. Following confirmation, she will join a distinguished board of presidential appointees at the Wilson Center, which was created as a “key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue.”