Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret.)

First woman Thunderbird pilot, fighter squadron commander, combat veteran, White House fellow and adviser, and indomitable spirit

Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret.) defies stereotypes. Yes, she was a jet fighter pilot, but if you think you know her based on that, you’d be wrong. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But the dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her struggling greatly to speak or walk for almost nine months. An indomitable spirit, Nicole fought back against overwhelming odds and prevailed. Drawing on stories from her career and personal life, Nicole inspires audiences to rethink the challenges they face every day. She urges them to go beyond resilience and become resurgent. Nicole’s empowers people with three key beliefs: failure and risk is the price of entry for achieving something great; sometimes you need to yield to overcome; and her personal mantra – “Nobody wants to lead a scripted life.”

Talking Points

·         Flying lessons: What’s it take to fly 400mph and 36” apart? Breathtaking video.

·         Cruel twist: Career-ending tick bite left her with 5 chronic illnesses and unable to fly.

·         Change happens: Harness headwinds with a new attitude – “fly loose in turbulence.”

·         Pioneering Aviator: it’s not easy being the first at anything; Nicole’s story inspires.

·         Big impact: Those who book Nicole bring her back 2, 3, or 4 more times.

Recent Testimonial

 “Book her now! I have worked with many speakers throughout my career and by far Nicole is the best. Easy to work with, engaged and humble. She did her homework and tied in our mission to her remarks and hit the nail on the head on how our audience of over 800 people can work together as a team. She was funny, passionate and drove home her points. We had attendees lined up for 45 minutes afterward to speak to her personally and she was gracious in speaking to every one of them.”  -Savannah Economic Development Authority


Recent video clips:

Steel Sharpens Steel – Power of Vulnerability –

Build Trust By Being Trustworthy –

Beyond Resilient: Resurgent –


For more information on Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret.), visit Midwest Speakers Bureau’s website by clicking on the following link:


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