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President's Message


January 2024


Welcome to the new year!

I am very pleased and honored to take the flight controls of the IAWA Board. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to follow in the flight path of Kathy Guilfoyle.

We begin the New Year with some changes to the IAWA Board of Directors. Please join me in welcoming two new, experienced leaders to the Board: Keren Rambow joins the Board as VP America’s and Carol Anderson as VP Europe. In addition to possessing passion for promoting women in our industry, Keren and Carol bring broad, diverse, and well-established aviation connections to our Board.

With new board members, the following changes have been made to other positions:

  • Marita Lintener becomes the next President-Elect, as well as VP Asia in the interim. 
  • Karen Ellis is our VP Treasury/Secretary. 
  • MC Ernst has transitioned to VP Events. 
  • Sophia Ghezai has transitioned VP Africa/Middle East.
  • Selda Konukcu, VP Conference, leads our annual event, being held in Dublin, Ireland.
  • Connie Avery leads Association & Affiliations Development.
  • Kathy Guilfoyle is our Past President.

Shelley Svoren will continue as VP, Leader Development, Next Generation, Cris Dart as VP, Marketing and Communications and Sheila Remes as VP, Stakeholder Experience. Please view the complete IAWA Board of Directors here.

Our take off for 2024 began with a first time Connect event in India, which was held on January 10th. The bringing together of this event is an excellent example of one person, Mansi Singh, a longtime member of IAWA, deciding it was time to bring women in aviation and aerospace together in India. Many thanks to Mansi for her dedication, tenacity, inspiration, and leadership. 

A heartfelt thank you to the many hard-working IAWA committee members; you are the powerplant of the organization. We rely on your time and dedication to assist with bringing value to all our members.

The first IAWA Board meeting will be on the 24th of January and the first course of business is to review our strategy. We will continue to focus on Invest in yourself, which we define as assisting with the development of leadership capabilities to help jettison our members’ careers. 

In Kathy’s final letter from the president, she shared her mantra an investment in IAWA is an investment in yourself and there can be no better person to invest in. Over the course of this year, the Board will be looking to offer tools and opportunities for our members to further develop their leadership capabilities. We will be spokespersons for women, fighting the perception that women aren’t ready for leadership roles in the aviation and aerospace industry.

As we begin the new year, we can expect turbulence and a few diversions. I am confident that the Board and our members will continue to soar to new heights. I remain proud of IAWA’s mission to Connect, Inspire and Lead, and of our member’s dedication to this mission.


With gratitude,

Deb Santos
IAWA President

Debra Santos
2024 President

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