U.S. Air Force Major General Jeannie M. Leavitt became the nation’s first female fighter pilot in 1993, and she is dedicated to creating a more balanced and diverse military to confront the challenges of a shifting international security landscape. She will be the Day 2 keynote speaker at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) on Thursday, October 23.
Leavitt is the commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, TX, and oversees more than 3,445 airmen and civilians, and thousands of recruiting offices across the U.S. and abroad.
“We are honored that Maj. Gen. Leavitt, a groundbreaking leader, will join us at NBAA-BACE to share with attendees her experiences,” said Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO. “She is an inspiration, especially those in aviation who have worked to break down barriers of all types. She exemplifies the dedication to duty, and love of country and aviation, that our industry personifies.”
In her 2018 TED “Women Spotlight” talk, Leavitt said, “I truly see diversity as a competitive advantage. “What we really want to get at is that diversity of thought. If I have people around the table who think differently, who have different backgrounds, then we’re going to come to a better solution–it’s going to take longer; there will be vastly different opinions, but we’re going to get to a better solution in the end.”
Leavitt has served in a variety of U.S. Air Force assignments at the flight, squadron and wing levels. As a command pilot, she has flown more than 3,000 hours, with field experiences including operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Her major awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal.