Senator Tammy Duckworth
Wednesday, August 1, 10:30 a.m. – at “Ask your ASO”
Tammy Duckworth was born on March 12, 1968, in Bangkok, Thailand. Duckworth—along with her mother, Lamai, and her father, Franklin—moved to Hawaii as a teenager. After high school, Duckworth earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii. Afterward, she obtained her Master of Arts in international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In pursuit of yet more higher education, Duckworth then relocated to Illinois, where she enrolled in a political science Ph.D. program at Northern Illinois University.
While attending NIU, Duckworth enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps with the Illinois Army National Guard. Trained as a Blackhawk pilot, in 2004 Duckworth left NIU when she was deployed to Iraq. In Iraq, Duckworth flew Operation Iraqi Freedom combat missions until her helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in the autumn of 2004.
The explosion took both of Duckworth's legs and robbed her of full function in her right arm. Still believing in the worthiness of her mission amid questions of whether she felt her sacrifice was for naught, Duckworth responded, "I was hurt in service for my country. I was proud to go. It was my duty as a soldier to go. And I would go tomorrow." She did, however, express frustration that U.S. policy makers were failing to match the sacrifices of American soldiers.
Following her injuries, Duckworth was promoted to major and awarded the Purple Heart. During her year's recovery time at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she became an activist, advocating for better medical care for wounded veterans and their families. Duckworth presented her impassioned views to Congress, testifying on two separate occasions.
In 2006 she became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Duckworth as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2012 she was elected to Congress, representing Illinois’ 8th District. Four years later, she was elected a U.S. senator, thereby becoming the first disabled woman and the second Asian-American woman in the Senate. In April 2018, Duckworth became the first female senator to give birth while holding office.
Capt. Tim Canoll
President, Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l
Wednesday, August 1, 1:00 p.m. – at Air Safety Forum Opening Ceremony
Captain Tim Canoll (Delta) is the tenth president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), which represents more than 60,000 professional airline pilots in the United States and Canada, and is the largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization in the world. He was elected by the union's Board of Directors on Oct. 22, 2014, and began his four-year term on Jan. 1, 2015.
As ALPA's chief executive and administrative officer, Captain Canoll oversees daily operations of the Association and presides over the meetings of ALPA's governing bodies, which set policy for the organization. He is also the chief spokesman for the union, advancing pilots' views in the airline industry before Congress, Parliament, government agencies, airline and other business executives, and also the news media.
As ALPA’s president, Captain Canoll is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council as well as the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department. He serves on the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee, which is made up of industry decision makers and is tasked with advising the agency on key decisions regarding the improvement and modernizing of the nation’s aviation infrastructure, and the Drone Advisory Committee, which collaborates with aviation and technology stakeholders to advise on the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the nation’s airspace.
Captain Canoll previously served as ALPA's executive administrator. His preceding ALPA offices include Delta Local Executive Council representative, Master Executive Council (MEC) Strike Committee member, MEC Security coordinator, MEC Strategic Planning chairman, MEC Negotiating Committee member, MEC vice chairman, and MEC executive administrator. In addition, the tenth ALPA president served as ALPA's representative to the Unsecured Creditors Committee during Delta Air Lines' 2005 bankruptcy.
Captain Canoll is a Delta MD-88 captain based in Atlanta, having also flown the B-727, L1011, and the B-767/757. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1982, and a former Navy Reserve F/A-18 Strike Fighter Squadron commanding officer. He retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve as a captain in 2008.
The Honorable Howard "Skip" Elliott
Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
Wednesday, August 1, 1:00 p.m. – at Air Safety Forum Opening Ceremony
Howard "Skip" Elliott was sworn in as the fifth Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) by Secretary Elaine L. Chao on Oct. 30, 2017.
Elliott joins PHMSA following his recent retirement from CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, FL, where he served as Vice President of Public Safety, Health, Environment, and Security. Elliott’s portfolio at CSX included hazardous materials, transportation safety, homeland security, railroad policing, crisis management, environmental compliance and operations, occupational health management, and continuity of business operations.
Elliott has more than 40 years of experience in the boardroom, on Capitol Hill, and in state houses and city halls and is a leading advocate in developing and implementing computer-based tools to assist emergency response officials, first responders, and homeland security personnel in preparing for and responding to railroad hazmat and security incidents.
Elliott has earned honors from a number of institutions and is a recipient of the Association of American Railroads’ (AAR) prestigious Holden-Proefrock award for lifetime achievement in hazardous materials transportation safety. Elliott has served on the AAR’s Risk Management Working Committee and its Security Committee, and is a member of the American Society of Industrial Security and the FBI-DHS Domestic Security Alliance Council.
Elliott earned a double major in English and forensic studies at Indiana University, and a master of science from Columbia Southern University.
The Honorable Dan Elwell
Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Thursday, August 2, 12:10 PM – at Air Safety Forum, Keynote Lunch
Daniel K. Elwell is the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In this capacity, he is responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world — a system that operates more than 50,000 flights per day. He oversees a $16.4 billion-dollar budget, more than 47,000 employees, and is focused on ensuring the agency and its employees are the best prepared and trained professionals to meet the growing demands and requirements of the industry. Mr. Elwell also oversees the FAA's multibillion-dollar NextGen air traffic control modernization program as the U.S. shifts from ground-based radar to state-of-the-art satellite technology.
Prior to serving as acting administrator, Elwell was the deputy administrator of the FAA. President Trump announced the appointment of Elwell as the deputy administrator in June 2017 and he was sworn into office on June 26, 2017.
Elwell previously served at the FAA as the assistant administrator for policy, planning, and environment from 2006-2008. Most recently, he was senior advisor on aviation to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Earlier in his career, he served as a legislative fellow for the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
From 2013-2015, as senior vice president for safety, security, and operations at Airlines for America (A4A), Elwell was responsible for leading the advancement of commercial aviation safety and security excellence for major U.S. air carriers. Prior to A4A, Elwell was vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) from 2008-2013. In this role, Elwell represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy for the civil aerospace manufacturing interests of more than 300 AIA member companies.
Elwell was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft. While maintaining his proficiency as an MD-80 Captain, he served as managing director for international and government affairs at American Airlines.
Dan earned his pilot wings at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a bachelor of science degree in international affairs. Lieutenant Colonel Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.
Mr. Paul Rinaldi
President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Thursday, August 2, 3:30 PM – at Air Safety Forum, Closing Keynote
Paul Rinaldi became the sixth president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association when he began his first term in October 2009. In March 2012, Rinaldi was re-elected by acclamation. In March 2015, Rinaldi was re-elected, again by acclamation, to serve a third, three-year term. Rinaldi is the first in NATCA's history to serve three-terms as president.
That is not, however, the first time Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert have made history; though NATCA’s top two positions are elected separately, in 2009 they campaigned for their respective positions as a team, which had never been done.
Since taking office in 2009 Rinaldi and Gilbert have continued to work as a team, along with the NATCA National Executive Board, elevating NATCA to new levels of success. NATCA’s team is committed and focused on improving the working relationship between the Union, the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation. Efforts like the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), fatigue mitigation, Professional Standards, and Partnership For Safety are a result of the team’s focus on progress and safety. These processes have led to collaborative decisions on important issues involving airspace, procedures, technology, staffing and training while cementing NATCA’s leadership role and voice in the aviation industry.
Prior to being elected NATCA President, Rinaldi served three years as NATCA’s Executive Vice President, after 16 years as an air traffic controller at Washington-Dulles Tower (IAD). Rinaldi currently holds positions on the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), the FAA Management Advisory Council (MAC) and at the AFL-CIO 2013 Convention he was elected as a vice president of the labor federation’s Executive Council. Rinaldi also serves on the RTCA Policy Board, the Board of Advisors for the Eno Center for Transportation, and as a union representative on the FAA National Labor-Management Forum, a group whose formation was mandated by a presidential executive order to improve labor relations within the federal government.
On Oct. 19, 2016, the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) presented Rinaldi with the prestigious Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, one of the most significant awards in aviation and ATCA's highest honor. The Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award is dedicated to the memory of one of the “Fathers of Air Traffic Control” and honors the lifelong achievements of an individual in the field of aviation.
On May 26, 2016, Rinaldi received the prestigious 2016 Humanitarian Award from the Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) at its National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala in Washington, D.C. The SIF is the philanthropic arm of the Order Sons of Italy, the nation's largest and oldest organization for people of Italian heritage.
Rinaldi is a native of Island Park, N.Y. He resides in Manassas, Va., with his wife, Debra. They have two sons, Anthony and Nicholas, and a daughter, Olivia.