WAI Names Interim CEO


The Women in Aviation International (WAI) Board of Directors has appointed Stephanie Kenyon as interim CEO for the organization. Kenyon succeeds former CEO Allison McKay, who took over from WAI founder Peggy Chabrian in 2020. Plans to establish WAI’s next permanent CEO were not announced.

“Stephanie’s proven leadership coupled with her understanding of the industry and nonprofit management make her an excellent choice as interim CEO,” said WAI Board of Directors Chair Deborah Hecker. “We are confident in her ability to drive WAI’s mission forward as well as create new opportunities for women in aviation and aerospace.”

Prior to taking on her new role, Kenyon served as WAI’s chief growth officer, managed the organization’s scholarship program and is credited with launching the Harvard University/WAI Emerging Leaders professional education program. She has also held positions as vice president of the AOPA Foundation and executive director in the philanthropy and alumni engagement division at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, along with working for the American Red Cross and AirServ International. In addition to being a private pilot, Kenyon holds professional certifications in nonprofit management, fundraising and public relations.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Serious question: What new opportunities for women in aviation and aerospace are there?

    • If your point is that there aren’t really any ‘new’ opportunities, I’d have to agree. The opportunities are the same as they have always been, at least for the past 20-30 years. The issue is that, for various reasons, women don’t take advantage of those opportunities to the same extent that men do. Eliminating those reasons is the real objective.

      • I think I detect a bit of defensiveness (or is it condescension?) in both Foyt’s and Morton’s comments.

        @Foyt, the answer to your question is right there in the article. The “new opportunities” are those which the Board chair is confident that the new CEO will create. How does she create them? Maybe by doing more of what WAI already does: mentorship, job recruiting channels, networking, training, and a bang-up annual conference, per the WAI website.

        @Morton: “The issue is that… women don’t take advantage of those opportunities”. Really? You are going all-in on blame the victim? How sure are you that the problem lies entirely with those women who don’t bother to pluck the grapes of opportunity hanging right in front of them? How do you know that there are no creepy male pilots who harass or condescend to female colleagues? That there are no recruiters who know only male pilots and so do only informal outreach to male prospects? And so on.


        • There is no “victim” and running an organization just to increase membership is self-serving.

          Point is that people have every opportunity to do what they wish. Just because people choose differently in not our concern.

  2. Congratulations to Stephanie. Looks like her qualifications are stellar. Hopefully, they will keep her in the role full time.