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SDSM&T names former congresswoman new president

Heather Wilson

RAPID CITY (AP) -- The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has named businesswoman and former New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson as its new president.

Wilson succeeds Robert Wharton, who died in September. She'll begin her duties on the Rapid City campus in June. She is a Republican and was the first female military veteran to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Through her Albuquerque business, Wilson has worked as a senior adviser to top-tier national laboratories such as Sandia, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, the Nevada Test Site and the Battelle Memorial Institute.

She represented New Mexico in the U.S. Congress from 1998 to 2009, serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as chair of the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence.

Duane Hrncir, provost and vice president for academic affairs on the Mines campus, has served as the acting president of the school.