Aerospace researcher who served as the United States Secretary of the Air Force from 1993 to 1997. She was the first female Secretary and the first woman to lead an entire branch of the U.S. military in the Department of Defense.
She graduated from MIT in Aeronautics with an S.B. in 1960, S.M. in 1961, and Sc.D. in 1964.
She studied the causes of what could have led to the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
She had two children with her husband William Soule Widnall.
She served as secretary of the Air Force when Bill Clinton was president.