How can we better support and encourage women in aviation, including the emerging UAS/UAV industry? We discuss the topic with Dr. Peggy Chabrian, founder, President and CEO of Women In Aviation International, an organization with 13,500 members and 111 chapters worldwide.

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Dr. Peggy Chabrian is President and Founder of Women in Aviation, International. The organization was incorporated in 1994 as a result of the success of the annual International Women in Aviation Conference in 1990. The conference began with 150 participants in 1990 and has grown to more than 4,900 attendees. WAI represents more than 13,000 women and men from all segments of the aviation industry including general, corporate, commercial and military.

A long-time aviation enthusiast and professional aviation educator, Dr. Chabrian is a 2,200-hour commercial/instrument multi-engine pilot and flight instructor flying for over 30 years. Most recently she added helicopter and seaplane ratings to her flight qualifications.

Dr. Chabrian has held several top positions in aviation education including:  Academic Dean and Associate Vice President of Parks College; Dean of Academic Support for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona campus; Director of the Center of Excellence for the Aviation/Space Education at ERAU’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus; and, Chair of the aviation department at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Chabrian was the second woman to ever hold the position of dean of an engineering school in the United States. She is currently also the publisher of Aviation for Women magazine.  

The recipient of numerous aviation and education awards, Dr. Chabrian has received the FAA Administrator’s Award for Excellence in Aviation Education and the Civic Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She has been inducted into the Crown Circle of the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education. In December 2016 she received the Distinguished Statesman Award from the National Aeronautics Association.  The purpose of the award is to honor outstanding living Americans who, by their efforts over an extended period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics, and have reflected credit upon America and themselves.

Dr. Chabrian is active in numerous aviation organizations and serves as a member of several boards including the Aviation Accreditation Board International. She is the past president and board member of the University Aviation Association and served on the board of the Experimental Aircraft Association for 16 years.

An international speaker, Dr. Chabrian has given numerous keynote and motivational presentations to hundreds of audiences. She has also authored numerous articles and a textbook on aviation management.

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