President, The University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Heather Wilson became the 11th President of The University of Texas at El Paso in 2019 after serving as Secretary of the United States Air Force. She is the former president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and she represented New Mexico in the United States Congress for 10 years. In the private sector, she has served as a senior adviser to defense and scientific industry.
Active in community and national affairs, she is a member of the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation. Recently, she was elected inaugural Chair of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities.
Dr. Wilson is the granddaughter of immigrants and was the first person in her family to go to college. She graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in the third class to admit women and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar.
UTEP is located on the U.S.-Mexico border – in the fifth largest manufacturing region in North America – and serves 24,000 students with 170 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in nine colleges and schools. In the top 5% of public universities in the United States for research and designated a community-engaged university by the Carnegie Foundation, UTEP is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. It is the fourth largest research university in Texas and serves a student body that is 84% Hispanic.
President Wilson is an instrument rated private pilot. She and her husband, Jay Hone, have three adult children and one granddaughter.