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Nicole Malachowski

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A 21-year veteran combat pilot of the U.S. Air Force, former advisor for the First Lady and security provider

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About Nicole

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USAF veteran and speaker Nicole Malachowski defies stereotypes. She is much more than a former jet fighter pilot: Nicole is a leader, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds and a White House Fellow. After a devastating illness leaving her unable to walk and speak for nine months, she fought back and prevailed. Today, she inspires audiences all over the world to go beyond resilience and become resurgent.

Why you should book speaker Nicole Malachowski

  • Nicole’s life story is extraordinary, yet incredibly relatable for everyone. Her captivating narrative and real-world lessons are guaranteed to inspire you to become more resilient.
  • She is a real vanguard: Nicole is not just a well-known specialist of a male-dominated profession, but one of the best former pilots of the US Air Force. Her story can be a great inspiration for other inspirational women.

Ever since she first saw an airshow as a child, Nicole dreamt of flying military jets.
Ruthlessly pursuing her dream brought her further than she could have ever imagined.

Nicole became not only a successful pilot, but she also became the first female Thunderbird pilot and served as a squadron commander. She flew at twice the speed of sound, advised the first lady and proudly provided security for Iraq’s democratic elections in 2005. However, after 2 decades of serving in the US Air Force, Nicole’s life took an unexpected turn, when an illness forced her to retire from the career she had worked so hard to build.

After being diagnosed with a neurological illness, speaker Nicole Malachowski had to learn to walk and talk for a second time. Yet she has no regrets. Her positive attitude and willingness to redefine herself have brought Nicole through hardship and helped her pursue her audacious dreams – and this attitude is infectious! As she speaks, audience members find themselves empowered to achieve their dreams.

Aside from her great qualities as a speaker Nicole Malachowski also earned numerous rewards throughout her career. She is a White House Fellow, an inductee into both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame and the aircraft, the very first woman to fly with the Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration team. As a woman vanguard to break tradition, Nicole is repeatable for both men and women with a captivating narrative and real-world lessons about how to pursue your dreams and make the right choices in life.

See keynotes with Nicole Malachowski
Keynote by speaker Nicole Malachowski

Harnessing Headwinds of Change

In flying, headwinds slow you down. At their worst, they cause you to change your plans and impact the effectiveness of weapons in combat. Headwinds demand that pilots be resilient and resourceful, literally on the fly.

Nicole has the perfect message to inspire audiences to think differently about the headwinds of change they face – organizationally and personally. Drawing on her extraordinary Air Force career, Nicole offers lessons on leadership, followership, and overcoming adversity.

  • Speaker Nicole weaves storytelling with breathtaking video from the cockpit of her jet as the Thunderbirds execute precision turns, rolls, and loops – all just 36” from one another at 400 mph and just 300 feet off the ground.
  • This keynote helps audiences ignite their own indomitable spirit in order to succeed far beyond what they might dream. “Failure isn’t fatal,” she says, “it’s the price of entry if you want to achieve something great.
Keynote by speaker Nicole Malachowski

Pushing the envelope: Being the best when it counts.

What does it take to be the best? The individuals and teams who achieve at the highest levels have one thing in common: they push the envelope and go to the edge of boundaries. They accomplish as much as possible and do it to a standard of excellence. Pushing the envelope is an aviation term for taking an aircraft to the maximum limits of its abilities.

In the business world, pushing the envelope means knowing yourself – certainly knowing your limits – all while using every bit of your ability to maximize your performance, be your best and be consistent.

Nicole Malachowski inspires audiences with lessons learned from a distinguished 21-year career – giving them the courage to push the envelope in their own lives.

  • Using inevitable failures to launch to the next level…preparing for turbulence, because change is unrelenting, and it is hard, but you must anticipate it…trusting in teammates’ skill and precision.
  • Developing your own skill and percision and being mindful of the over-control that leads to performance malfunctions and mutes achievement.
  • Nicole’s presentation provides an unforgettable and practical roadmap for individuals and organizations looking to make the most of their talents and effort
Keynote by speaker Nicole Malachowski

Breaking Barriers: Conquering self-doubt and cultural paradigms.

Every great accomplishment involves breaking barriers – both culturally and within.

Nicole Malachowski is a trailblazer who succeeded in a traditionally male-dominated career field: the world of the fighter pilot. As uncomfortable and risky as stretching the limits of yourself and your surroundings might be, Nicole tells audiences there’s no reason to allow that to dictate your goals and aspirations.

She is relatable to women and men with a fascinating narrative of exactly what it took to be a woman vanguard and break tradition.

  • Nicole offers actionable tools and real-world lessons about pursuing her dream, making choices, all while building a family and achieving success in a career where few women had gone before.
  • Nicole inspires audiences with a message rooted in her personal mantra – “Nobody wants to lead a scripted life.
Catch speaker Nicole Malachowski in action!

Cultures Can Confine - Nobody Wants to Lead a Scripted Life

See keynotes with Nicole Malachowski
Non-binding request for Nicole Malachowski

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Keynote topics with Nicole Malachowski