U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao selected 30 industry and academic leaders to serve as members of the newly formed Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB). Congress called for the creation of the board in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 to develop strategies and recommendations to bring more women and girls into aviation. The board will look at education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment efforts.
Former U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson was selected as chair of WIAAB. An instrument-rated private pilot and aircraft owner, Wilson currently is president of The University of Texas at El Paso and had served as the 24th secretary of the Air Force, as well as a U.S. Congress member representing New Mexico.
“The Department welcomes Dr. Heather Wilson and these accomplished advisory board members, who share a commitment and passion for encouraging women to access opportunities in aviation,” Chao said.
“Women are underrepresented in aviation and I look forward to working with Secretary Chao, the FAA, and the advisory board to develop strategies that will encourage more women to consider careers in the aviation industry,” Wilson said.
Other board members represent a range of aviation and aerospace organizations. They include Kriya Shortt, senior v-p of parts and programs for Textron Aviation; Allison McKay, president and CEO for Women in Aviation International; Jean Lydon-Rodgers resident and CEO for GE Aviation Services; Dr. Rebecca Lutte, associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute; Lauren Lacey Haertlein, general counsel and director of safety and regulatory affairs for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Kathryn Fraser, head of safety for Joby Aviation and NBAA board member; and Rene Banglesdorf, CEO and co-founder of Charlie Bravo Aviation.
Selected from nearly 200 applicant packages, the 30 members will serve for the duration of the WIAAB, which is believed to last at least two years. Members will meet up to two times a year.