Looking Forward with Reflection

It is with a profound sense of optimism for the future that I close this chapter of my service to AIAA as its president for these last two years. It has been a distinct honor to be leading our journey over this period, working within such an extraordinary organization.

As I began my tenure, it was my intent that AIAA would make significant strides toward realizing its full potential as a leading technical society that aids our members in building their records of achievement in developing aerospace solutions. Ultimately, AIAA members advance the performance and capabilities of systems that carry goods and people, defend nations, provide critical infrastructure, and explore our galaxy. It is an honor to be part of this industry. I’ve enjoyed partnering with the Institute’s incredible volunteer leadership and professional staff to reach our objectives – to serve our members in achieving their goals and beyond. As I look back, I reflect on our progress.

Our work together has further extended AIAA’s reputation for excellence in aeronautics and astronautics, providing forums that foster technical collaboration and innovation to address generational-scale challenges faced by our community. I am pleased with what we have accomplished toward advancing the capabilities of our Institute and I look forward to more in the coming years. The five-year AIAA Strategic Plan is cohesive and comprehensive, with solid metrics that we continue to measure ourselves against. With this as a foundation, we are focused on key areas that will meet the wants and needs of our members. Here are just a few highlights:

• Continued to convene our community at multiple signature AIAA forums and events, delivering deep technical exchange and valuable networking opportunities, while breaking records for attendance, exhibits, and sponsorships

• Initiated the Institute’s IT transformation to enhance the member experience with technology that’s intuitive and provides easy access to products, services, and collaborative spaces with new capabilities to be deployed over the coming months and years

• Provided opportunities for our volunteers to build their leadership skills that are transferable to their home organizations, equipping them to lead by influence

• Established the distinguished AIAA Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advisory Group to guide the Institute in the appropriate use of AI technology particularly in Aeronautics, Aerospace R&D, and Space

• Reinforced our Domain approach in Aeronautics, Aerospace R&D, and Space, prioritizing and addressing the most critical issues facing these sectors

• Instituted a strategic goal to move the demographics of AIAA leaders and members to reflect the demographics of society as a whole, and published the Institute’s position on diversity, equity, and inclusion (aiaa.org/diversity)

• Honored our members’ career accomplishments and recognized outstanding contributions to our field

• Redefined the AIAA Award for Aerospace Excellence to annually celebrate a timely and unique achievement that is shaping the future of aerospace while inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in our field

• Transparently shared our progress with AIAA volunteer leaders at virtual town halls following each Board of Trustees’ meeting

These activities and many others are the result of the dedicated work of numerous AIAA volunteers and staff members who are absolutely committed to our mission to help aerospace professionals and their organizations succeed. AIAA listens to members to enhance the Institute’s offerings to deliver courses, events, publications, services, and experiences that are the most meaningful and valuable for today’s aerospace community.

I have enjoyed serving you as AIAA President through my many engagements with members and volunteer leaders. I am honored to continue serving AIAA for the next two years as the AIAA Foundation Chair. My support for the Institute will not end there as I will find other ways to stay engaged. In the meantime, I look forward to passing the mantle into the very capable hands of our AIAA President-Elect Dan Hastings. I have enjoyed working with him this past year and I know that his passion for AIAA’s mission will serve you well.

Every time I am among AIAA members, I feel a unique energy that I believe will continue to propel AIAA forward. As I have been reminded during my term, being part of AIAA is a life-changing, rewarding experience – one that will shape your career and challenge you to build the body of knowledge and professional connections to truly make magic happen. There is incredible strength in AIAA and unlimited opportunity for the future.

Together, as members of AIAA, we are truly shaping the future of aerospace.

Looking Forward with Reflection