Kay Coles James has been appointed by a unanimous vote as the next president of The Heritage Foundation, The Hill reports. She will be the first black woman to head the organization.

The Heritage Foundation is one of the nation's most powerful conservative think tanks. Started in 1973, the foundation has produced countless studies and publications in support of conservatism and, according to Politico, helped the Trump administration with its transition into the White House.

In a lecture given on Tuesday after her appointment was announced, James called her new job an honor, and lauded the foundation.

"Heritage is its people, who are the living embodiment of the hopes and determination of millions of Americans – Americans who are driven to make this nation even better than how they found it," she said. James vowed to "protect [the foundation] and grow it with the greatest care possible."

She also said that she hoped to recruit more minorities into the conservative movement, joining "forces with millions of minorities, women and youth" while leading the "way to conservative victory" and putting "a long-overdue end to the failure that is liberalism."

James formerly worked as a senior adviser to President Trump during the Trump team's White House transition, was the assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the director of the Office of Personnel Management for President George W. Bush.

As the head of the Office of Personnel Management under Bush, James designed post 9/11 staffing plans and a personnel management policy that merged 170,000 employees from 22 different agencies into the new Department of Homeland Security.

"She is the quintessential American success story. Her life story is truly remarkable. She is the right person to be the intellectual voice and face of The Heritage Foundation for the future," said interim president and Heritage Foundation founder Edwin J. Feulner, in his statement announcing the change. 

James will transition into her new role on January 1, 2018.