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Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, RET.)

First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, Fighter Squadron Commander,
White House Fellow & Adviser, and Indomitable Spirit

  • Pioneering aviator and first woman Thunderbird pilot
  • 21-year USAF veteran, combat experience in Iraq and Kosovo
  • Commander of an F-15E fighter squadron
  • White House Fellow and adviser plus Pentagon roles
  • Advocate for health care causes
  • Inspires audiences to succeed beyond what they imagine
Speech Descriptions
HARNESSING HEADWINDS OF CHANGE
In flying, headwinds slow you down. At their worst, they cause you to change your plans and impact the effectiveness of weapons in combat. Headwinds demand that pilots be resilient and resourceful, literally on the fly. “Headwinds are the perfect metaphor for the change impacting organizations and individuals today,” says 21-year Air Force veteran Nicole Malachowski.
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THE POWER OF CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS
The best organizations and leaders create cultures that engage and harness the diverse ideas, talents, and abilities of every person; one where challenging assumptions and the status quo drives extraordinary success. Nicole Malachowski knows about high-performance cultures and challenging assumptions. As a member of the elite United States Air Force Thunderbirds flying demonstration team, the first woman to do so, Nicole was part of a team that demanded flawless execution under extreme circumstances because lives literally depended on it.
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IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS
Nicole Malachowski has lived a life of service to others. Her commitment to making a difference was the foundation of a distinguished 21-year Air Force career and it continues to drive her work as an advocate on health care and veterans’ issues. First as a White House Fellow in the General Services Administration and later as the executive director of Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Nicole rallied around service members, veterans, and their families and supported them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities.
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Col. Nicole Malachowski's Story

A 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Colonel Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) wanted to fly military jets from the moment she saw them at her first air show when she was five years old. She achieved that goal – and then some. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, an instructor, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams.

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More About Nicole

Keywords: Accountability, Change, Corporate Culture, Diversity, Empowerment, Execution, Healthcare, HR Focus, Improving Performance, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Managing/Leading Change, Mentorship, Military Background, Motivation, Peak Performance, Practitioners, Real Leaders, Safety, Teamwork, Women & Workplace