We are excited about our approaching 27th Annual International Aviation Women’s Association Conference – Connect, Inspire & Lead in Dubai, November 10-12, 2015. The Annual Conference is the pinnacle IAWA event of the year allowing women leaders in our industry to share knowledge and connect. I encourage each of you to participate in what will be a historic event as IAWA brings its Annual Conference to the Middle for the first time!

The Conference will feature a trip to the Dubai Airshow, allowing attendees to experience the marvels of commercial aviation, military aviation, business/general aviation and UAVS that are the flying today and into the future. Throughout the program attendees will be honored with the opportunity to listen and learn from our distinguished keynote speakers Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister for International Cooperation and Development, Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the United States Air Force, and Barbara Leaf, U.S Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. On Thursday, November 12th Tracey Curtis-Taylor an Aviator, Adventurer and Inspirational Speaker will wow the audience with tales from aviation expeditions. As you can see this is a program you don’t want to miss!

These unique offers could not be possible without the dedication and support of our sponsors. Thank you for providing IAWA the opportunity to support women leaders in aviation and aerospace! While much anticipation surrounds the upcoming event, IAWA is also facing a time of exciting change. The Board of Directors met in June in Washington DC to conduct a strategic planning session to determine how IAWA can better help its members meet the ever-changing global aviation and aerospace industries. Be on the lookout for new initiatives that will emerge in the coming year!

As I approach the end to my IAWA presidency, I can’t believe how much we have accomplished together. I often think back to my first IAWA experience at the annual conference in Shannon, Ireland in 1998 where I met the most incredible and inspirational women. These women personally impacted me as mentors and leadership role models over the years. Seventeen years later that connection has not changed. At each IAWA event, I still meet incredible and inspirational women who challenge me in my further leadership development. What has changed over the years are the opportunities IAWA offers to Connect, Inspire & Lead. Now it is not just the one annual conference event, but 20+ events around the globe throughout the year along sharing via newsletters, Linked In, Facebook and webinars. More and more women leaders are emerging in our industry and being recognized like Cecile Hatfield, IAWA’s Women of Excellence 2015 recipient. With IAWA’s strategic planning, we are honing in on how we can do even more to create more opportunities for leadership development for 2016 and beyond.