Feb. 12, 2020

Allison McKay has been named the new CEO of Women in Aviation International (WAI), where she will be responsible for the future strategic vision of the 14,500-member organization while overseeing the board of directors, professional staff, and daily operations. She succeeds Dr. Peggy Chabrian, WAI founder and former president and CEO, who announced her retirement last fall.

“I am thrilled to work for this great organization, to meet many members at our conference next month, and to move WAI in a direction that will construct programs and initiatives to propel women of all ages and backgrounds to follow their own personal aviation dreams,” said McKay. “Thanks to Dr. Peggy Chabrian’s dedication to this industry and her vision to create the annual conference and the organization, I am honored to carry on this work and direct the future of this organization.”

McKay previously served as vice president of the Helicopter Association International Foundation, where she commissioned the first academic study of staffing projections for the rotorcraft industry and created a workforce development initiative. She has more than 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of strategic initiatives with other aviation companies, including Safran USA and B/E Aerospace.

“Allison’s substantial experience in corporate philanthropy, event management and government relations, plus her strategic thinking and long-term relationships with key industry stakeholders, established her as the best candidate to lead WAI into a strong future while inspiring the next generation as they enter our industry,” said Marci Veronie, WAI board chair.

“At NBAA we know that it is essential for aviation to be a diverse and inclusive culture in order to attract women and other underrepresented minorities to aviation careers,” said Jo Damato, CAM, NBAA vice president, educational strategy and workforce development. “We welcome Allison McKay to her new role, confident that she will build upon Peggy’s foundation to take WAI to new heights. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with WAI on solutions to engage the next generation of aviation professionals.”

In addition to its annual conference, which last year was attended by more than 4,500 participants, WAI also holds the annual Girls in Aviation Day, the most recent of which was attended by about 20,000 students at more than 100 events hosted by WAI chapters in the U.S. and around the world.

Learn more about WAI.