Marillyn A. Hewson

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Marillyn A. Hewson is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. She previously held a variety of increasingly responsible executive positions with the corporation, including President and Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin's Electronic Systems business area.

Ms. Hewson joined Lockheed Martin more than 35 years ago as an industrial engineer. During her career, she has held several operational leadership positions, including President of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration; Executive Vice President of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; President and General Manager of Kelly Aviation Center, L.P., an affiliate of Lockheed Martin; and President of Lockheed Martin Logistics Services. She has also served in key corporate executive roles, including Senior Vice President of Corporate Shared Services; Vice President of Global Supply Chain Management; and Vice President of Corporate Internal Audit. 

Ms. Hewson has served on numerous boards and currently sits on the Board of Directors of DowDuPont, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Board of Governors of the USO, and the Board of Directors of Catalyst. She is a member of The University of Alabama's President's Cabinet and also serves on the Board of Visitors of the Culverhouse College of Business.


Kathy J. Warden

President and Chief Operating Officer

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Kathy Warden is President and Chief Operating Officer of Northrop Grumman and a member of the company's Board of Directors and Corporate Policy Council. On July 12, 2018, Northrop Grumman's Board of Directors elected her Chief Executive Officerand President, effective January 1, 2019.

As president and chief operating officer, Warden is responsible for the operational management of the company's four operating sectors as well as its enterprise services organization. Her role encompasses all aspects of the operations, including leading the company's engagement with the senior customer community and partners around the globe. She also leads the integration of the new Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems sector.

Previously, Warden served as corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector, a leading global provider of advanced solutions for defense and intelligence customers. She directed large-scale, mission- critical systems and complex hardware and software productswithinthe U.S. and internationally.

Prior to leading the Mission Systems sector, Warden was corporate vice president and president of the former Information Systems sector.


Talar Faiq Salih

Director, Erbil International Airport

In  March  2018,  Erbil  International  Airport  reopened  to international traffic, ending a six-month blockade imposed by the Baghdad Government in response to the referendum for independence held on September 25, 2017.

Talar Faiq Salih, Director of Erbil International Airport, found herself in a difficult situation as she announced its closure from September 29, 2017. Such challenges are part of running an airport in Iraq and for Salih, having now served nine years as the Director General, it is a familiarscenario.

Born in 1967 in Suliamani, a Kurdistan city in Iraq, Salih studied English translation at the University of Mustansiriyah in Baghdad.

In 1991, she began her career with the United Nations as administration manager overseeing aid and support in Iraq's refugee zones. She stayed with UN for nearly a decade In Iraq before moving to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Londonwhere she continued herwork forrefugees.

The then London-based humanitarian worker became a representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in the UK.


Barbara Baumgartner

Managing Director,

Managing Director, FAI rent-a-jet AG

Barbara Baumgartner entered the aviation industry in 1991 when she began to workwith Tyrolean Airways in ernative country, Austria.

With her husband, she moved to Dubai in 1997 where she was offered the position of head of family office for a Saudi family business conglomerate. During her tenure, Baumgartner was amongst others in charge of asset management, private aircraft operations and gained further experience in aircraft andyacht acquisitions and sales.

In January 2003, she joined FAI rent-a-jet AG as the local representative for the Middle East. When FAI opened its branch office in Dubai in December 2011, Baumgartner became the Managing Director of FAI rent-a-jet AG, DMCC Branch in Dubai. Under Baumgartner's leadership, the company grew to become the market leaderforairambulance in the Gulf Region.

Baumgartner's long-standing experience in the Middle East, combined with her general management and analytical skills and an iron will to succeed, proved vital to successfully grow FAI's business exponentially in this dynamic region.

With a fleet of 25 aircraft, FAI is Germany´s largest fleet operator in General Aviation and a market leader in the field of patient transport by ambulance jet. For this niche, FAI is operating 12 dedicated aircraft; another two business jets are based and operated in crisis areas exclusively forthe world´s largest NGO. The rest ofthe fleet is operating in ad hoc charter.


Liana Coyne


Coyne Airways

Liana Coyne is a Director at Coyne Airways and is currently based at the all- cargo airline's Dubai hub in the UAE. 

London-headquartered Coyne Airways, which has been in business for more than 20 years, was founded by her father, Larry, and offers scheduled services to complex destinations, as well as offering charters to destinations worldwide. 

Liana helps oversee Coyne's operations throughout the Gulf and Central Asia, as well as the more difficult-to-reach destinations which the airline specialises in serving, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and various destinations in Africa. 

Liana graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University, and went on to become an English-qualified solicitor. 

She worked for international law firm Baker and McKenzie in both their London and Hong Kong offices for six years, during which time she co- authored a number of articles on legal subjects. In 2010, Liana decided to make the transition to join the family business and move to Dubai. 

She has a passion for learning languages which include Spanish, Russian, French, Italian and Japanese, and hopes to be able to converse in Arabic one day.


Capt. Aysha Al Hameli

UAE First Female Pilot

UAE Permanent Representative to ICAO

Capt. Aysha Al Hameli has been the Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) since 2009.

She has over 16 years of civil aviation experience covering aviation safety,security, environmental protection, regulations, international negotiations and strategic management. She was elected to be the first Vice President of the ICAO Council for 2016-2017.

As the first female pilot in the UAE, Capt. Al Hameli's work has inspired many women from the region to pursue careers in aviation. She is an active speaker  in national and international venues advocating the role of women in aviation.Recognizing her contribution to the development of gender equality and civil aviation, Capt. Al Hameli has received numerous awards, both in the UAE and internationally.

Capt. Al Hameli has a Master of Science in Air Transport Management Degree from City University of London and a Degree (BA SBS) in International Studies from Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. She is a qualified commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. Further, she has attended senior executive training courses at renowned international institutions such as Harvard University,Singapore Aviation Academy,IATA and Zayed Diplomatic Academy.

Advocate Mandi E.P. Samson

Acting Managing Director, Air Namibia

Advocate Samson Mandi E.P. Samson has been the acting Managing Director of Air Namibia, the national carrierof Namibia headquartered at the Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, since 2015.

Samson previously served in the Office of Attorney-General of Namibia and gave advisoryservices as a Memberofthe Committee negotiatingthe Bilateral Air Service Agreements. She laterworked as General Manager: Corporate and Legal Services at Namibia Airports Company (NAC). She has also served in different government advisorybodies.

In aviation, Samson is known for assisting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in developing and drafting the 'Common Regulations of Competition of Air Transport Services' within the common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community(SADC).

She also served as consultant to the African Union in drafting the “Regulations of CompetitionforAirTransportin Africa and Arbitration Procedures.”

Samson holds a B. Juris Degree (University of Namibia), LLB (Hons) (University of Cape Town), Master of Law in International Air & Space Law (LLM) Cum Laude (Leiden University), Master of Business Administration (MBA) (Commonwealth Open University) and is completing a Doctorate in Philosophy(PhD) in AirTransportwith Leiden University.



Yvonne Manzi Makolo

CEO, RwandAir

An IT specialist and a career business executive, Yvonne Manzi Makolo was named on April 6, 2018 as the Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda. She was the airline's deputy CEO responsible for corporate affairs for a year before she assumed the post.

Makolo was born in Rwanda but moved to Canada in 1993. The 1990s was a tumultuous era in Rwanda's history marred with the genocide of more than 1 million Tutsis during the civilwar.

After 10 years in Canada, Makolo returned to her homeland and worked as a software developer.

She joined leading telecom provider MTN Rwanda in 2006 eventuallyrising to the rank of Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Executive Officer in an acting capacity. She moved to RwandAir in 2017 just as the government made changes in its Cabinet.

With tourism industry rising in Rwanda, the government has bigger plans for RwandAir, including opening up newservices between Kigali and the US.


Pilot Officer Sheikha Aisha bint Rashid Al Khalifa

Bahrain's First Royal Female Fighter Pilot

Sheikha Aisha bint Rashid Al Khalifa made Bahrain proud in 2017 when she became the country's first female to graduate at the prestigious Royal Sandhurst Military Academy in Britain.

On July 12, 2018, she made another milestone when she became Bahrain's first female fighter pilot flying the BAE Hawk for an hour. Her proud grandfather, Bahrain Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, watched the historic event from takeoffto landing, reported the Bahrain News Agency.

The prime minister congratulated Sheikha Aisha and described the unique event as “a remarkable accomplishment that embodies determination and the spirit ofdefiance of Bahraini women.”

Sheikha Aisha looked confident and unperturbed as she flew in the sky the British-made fighter jet and safety landed it.

The young pilot officer of Bahrain Air Force joins a growing number of elite loyal Royals in the Middle East excelling in aviation and the military in defense oftheir countries.

 Sheikha Aisha is the daughter of H.E. Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, founder of the Bahrain Arts Society and Royal Bridges, a nonprofit group highlighting the artistry of royalties rather than being regarded as mere patrons ofthe arts.

Claudia Sender


Claudia Sender is Brazil's first female airline CEO known for promoting diversity, innovation and sustainability. She has been leading Latin America's largest carrier, LATAMAirlines, forthe Brazilian market since 2013.

Sender first joined the airline in 2011 as commercial and marketing vice president. She was the marketing vice president at Whirlpool Latin America forsevenyears before joining the aviation industry.

She also worked as consultant at Bain & Company, developing projects for large companies in various industries, including TAM Airlines and other players in the global aviation sector.

Underherleadership, LATAM Brazil continues to lead in manyfronts, including sustainable aviation. The airline is the onlyone in Latin America to join the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index forthe fourth consecutiveyear.

Sender has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo (“USP”) and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.


Farzaneh Sharafbafi

CEO, Iran Air

Farzaneh Sharafbafi holds the record as Iran's first female aerospace engineer. In 2017, she made another history when she was called to serve as the first Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officerof Iran Air, the flag carrierof Iran.

Sharafbafi first worked at Iran Air in 2006 under the Planning and Training Department where she stayed for many years. In 2009, she worked as Aerospace & Air Transportation Official Expert at the Kanoon Karshenasan Rasmi Dadgostary while simultaneously taking charge of training and research at the airline.

She became the Head of Human Resources Development and Training Center of Iran Air in 2013. Subsequently, she became a member of the Iran Air Board of Directors, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Sharafbafi also taught at Amirkabir University of Technology and the Shahid Sattari Aeronautical University.

Iran's first airline CEO has a Ph.D. in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology where she also took her Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering.


J. Manjula

Director General Electronics & Communication Cluster

Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), India

India's multi-awarded scientist J. Manjula is the Director General, Electronics & Communication Systems cluster at the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). The first woman to lead DRDO, she assumed the post in 2015.

Prior, Manjula was the director at the Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE). She is an alumna of Osmania University and a practicing Electronics & Communications engineer.

Manjula had a brief stint in Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. before joining DRDO in 1987. She has served in Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, (DLRL) Hyderabad for over 26 years in the area of Integrated Electronic Warfare.

She has designed and realized fast signal acquisition receivers, high power RF systems, responsive jammers, controller software, etc., for various systems inducted in Army, Navy, Air Force and Paramilitary. She has vast experience in EW systems design & deployment in wide area network and her specialization includes configuration of Communication & Radar ESM and ECM systems.


Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga

Deputy Minister of Transport

Republic of South Africa

Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga is the Deputy Minister of Transport ofthe Republic of South Africa since 2012.

A former student activist, Chikunga was also a member of the country's Parliament since 2004 serving different committees. She was also an ex- officio member of the African National Congress (ANC) Regional Executive Committee and had served on the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) Regional Executive Committee as ex officio member and ANC Deputy Regional Secretary and Regional Secretary for Gert Sibande Region.

As Deputy Minister of Transport for South Africa, Chikunga advocated for the development of the country's aviation and maritime industries as well as empoweringwomen in the fields.

Chikunga trained as a nurse at the Edendale Nursing College in KwaZulu-Natal in 1978 and worked in clinics and hospitals in Mpumalanga after she got married, according to reports. She later became head of a nursing college before decidingto enterpolitics.

Chikunga is also a nursing graduate with honors. She later obtained a Master's Degree in Nursing fromthe Universityof Pretoria.


Christina Foerster

CEO, Brussels Airlines

Christina Foerster was appointed CEO of Brussels Airlines on April 1, 2018, becoming the first-ever woman to head a Lufthansa Group airline and playing an important role in the common future of the Belgian home carrier and the Eurowings Group.

She joined the airline in September 2016 as Chief Commercial Officer, managing all commercial activities and delivering several core projects, including the Hi Belgium Pass, customer centricity (NPS), Africa positioning and strategicnetwork evolution.

Foerster worked for Sheraton Hotels and Boston Consulting Group before joining the aviation industry in 2002 as Project Manager Corporate at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. From 2005 to 2011, she was General Manager Product Development Intercontinental, before being appointed VP Network & Fleet Development, overseeing the airline's long-term fleet strategy and short-term fleet planning.

In  2014,  Foerster  was  promoted  to  SVP  Network,  Group  &  Alliance development, directing, among others, all partnershipmanagement activities. Later she took on the role of SVP Network & Partner Management Lufthansa Hub Airlines, where she led a team of 10 direct reports and 180 employees and developed an aligned network and partnership management processes, includingmethods, timelines, reports and KPI'sto reap profitable synergies.

Foersterobtained her B.S. at Cornell University, Schoolof Hotel Administration in Ithaca, USA, where she received the Merrill Presidential Award given to top 1% of graduating students. In 1999, she graduated from an M.B.A. at The Wharton School, Universityof Pennsylvania.


Kristin Colvile

CEO, SkyTeam

Kristin Colvile joined SkyTeam from Delta in June 2018. With over 25 years of industry experience to her name, she has held leadership roles in numerous divisions of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines since joining the company in 1993.

Based at SkyTeam's headquarters in Amsterdam, Kristin is focused on leading the development of industry leading technology and maximizing tools to enhance seamlessness for all the alliance members and their customers.

Mervat Sultan


Co-founder, RamJet Aviation Support

President, Women in Aviation Middle East Chapter

 Mervat Sultan is one of the first women in the Arab world to obtain an FAA GCAAflight dispatch license. She currentlyheads the nonprofit group Women in Aviation in the Middle East-UAE Chapter.

The Syria-born Sultan first emigrated to Saudi Arabia before moving to the Emirates.

Sultan is a finance manager at RamJet Aviation Support based in Ras Al- Khaimah. The firm provides full aircraft charters out of RAK, AOG and handling, in-flight catering, among otheraviation support services.

As president and co-founder of Women in Aviation in the Middle East, Sultan paved the way for women in the industry to be recognized and inspire others towalk on the same path.

The group also gets involved in various outreach projects that promote the value of education and provide help where it’s needed in various parts of the Middle East.

A passionate flying enthusiast, Sultan who has a private flying license hones heraviation skillswhen she’s not busy.



Nadia Abdul Aziz

President, National Association of Freight & Logistics (UAE)

Vice President, FIATA Extended Board

Vice President, International Chamber of Commerce-ICC:Steering Committee for Customs and Trade Facilitation UAE Chapter


Nadia Abdul Aziz hails from a family of successful entrepreneurs whose business legacy includes establishing DULSCO, one of the largest manpower suppliers to aviation, shipping and logistics industries in the Gulf and the oldest of its kind in Dubai.

Her early exposure in the sectors prepared her for greater responsibilities in running the family-owned UNASCO LLC (Union National Air, Land and Sea Shipping Company) since 2003. The company offers competitive solutions for sea and air freight, trucking and warehousing, to and from the UAE.

An active member of the National Association of Freight & Logistics (NAFLUAE) for many years, Ms. Abdul Aziz was elected president of the group, the Gulf's first national freight forwarders association formed in 1992 to bring together in one body all the major players in the UAE freight forwarding, logistics and shipping industry.

Ms. Abdul Aziz is NAFL's first Emirati and woman president. In that capacity, she was elected in 2017 as the vice president of the International Chamber of Commerce-ICC: Steering Committee for Customs and Trade Facilitation UAE Chapter as well to the Extended Board of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA).

Under her leadership, NAFL successfully got its revalidation permit from FIATA to offer internationally recognized courses and promoted numerous campaigns and activities. She has also hosted regional and global conferences in the UAE.Likewise, she had participated in numerous international conferences and exhibitions promoting the logistics industry in the UAE.

Ms. Abdul Aziz has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Advertising from the American University in Dubai. She also has a Master's Degree in Business Administration and is a Certified ISO Internal Auditor since 2001. She also studied at London Oxford College and Edinburgh University, taking up certificate courses.

She has received numerous international and local awards for her leadership skills and dedication to humanitarian and philanthropic causes, most notably at the Al Noor Center for Children with Special Needs, which earned her the H.H.Sheikh Mansoor Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award in 2015.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Defense Minister India

Nirmala Sitharaman became India's second woman defence minister after she was elected to the Cabinet on September 7, 2017. The late Indira Gandhi had served as the defence minister in 1975 and again in 1980–82. However, Sitharaman isthe firstwomanto hold the position full-time.

Sitharaman, who was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu's Temple City, is now heading the world's third-largest defence force, which has 1.4 million personnel. After completing her studies in economics from the Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Trichy, Sitharaman went to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to finish her Master's Degree and M.Phil in economics with special interest in Indo-European trade.

She met her husband Parakala Prabhakar while studying at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The couple later settled in London. There, she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, researching Eastern European economies.

Once she returned to India, Sitharaman served as deputy director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Hyderabad. She also started a school in Hyderabad and was a member of the National Commission for Women from 2003–2005.

In 2008, Nirmala joined the BJP and by 2010 became the party's second woman spokesperson after Sushma Swaraj. When the BJP came to power in 2014, shewas made the Ministerof State for Commerce.

As Defence Minister, she is leading the largewith great aplomb but has a major task of dealing with the Rafale fighter jet controversy wherein the opposition parties are talking about financial irregularities at the highest level. Though this appears to be more political rhetoric before the elections, the deal is mired in controversyand the Ministeris battling it out.


Dr. Fang Liu

Secretary General of the International

Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Dr. Fang Liu is the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Her recent reappointment mandates she must serve until July 2021.

Prior, Dr. Liu served for eight years as the Director of ICAO's Bureau of Administration and Services (ADB). During her tenure, she contributed extensively to ICAO's Senior Management Group and also participated in the High-Level Committee on Management within the United Nations common system.

Dr. Liu also served the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), where over the course of 20 years she successively held the posts of Legal Counsel, Deputy Director, Director and Deputy Director General, Department of International Affairs and Cooperation.

She was responsible for China's international air transport policy and regulations, bilateral and multilateral relations with international and regional organizations including ICAO, the World Trade Organization, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the European Union, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). She was also the chief negotiator for the Chinese government for bilateral and multilateral air transport agreements with foreign countries.

Dr. Liu has a PhD in international law at Wuhan University, China, and a Master's Degree in airand space lawat Leiden University, the Netherlands.


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