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Nicole Malachowski

Nicole Malachowski is the 1st woman Thunderbird pilot, a fighter squadron commander, White House Fellow, and keynote speaker who has overcome overwhelming odds time and time again.

Meet Nicole Malachowski

Colonel Nicole Malachowski is 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. In fact, she even has a Star Trek Federation starship named after her – the USS Malachowski (NCC-1619). Nicole’s distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But that dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her unable to walk or speak for nine months. Now, she is well-known for her keynote and motivational speaking. Nicole Malachowski is available to be hired for corporate and private events. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group today to inquire about Nicole Malachowski’s fees.

Want to hire Nicole Malachowski for an event?

Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group at 215-510-6607 to hire Nicole Malachowski for corporate or private events, keynote speeches, workshops, fireside chats, motivational speaking, or virtual appearances. Our agency will work directly with your organization and our keynote speakers to create an unforgettable event.

The Mollie Plotkin Group is the leading keynote speakers agency and entertainment bureau bringing excitement to audiences, clients, and employees. We represent subject-matter experts in every possible field, so whether we’re your partner in creating a memorable meeting, or your meeting planner’s secret weapon in securing the perfect keynote speaker, we’re in this with you.


An Air Force Trailblazer

While other high school students were getting their driver’s licenses, Nicole was accumulating flight time. She was sixteen years old when she took her first solo flight. From that point on, there was no stopping her. While in high school, she joined the Civil Air Patrol and participated in Air Force Junior ROTC. Following graduation from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996, she began her career as a pilot. Additionally, while studying at the U.S. Naval War College, she became the first Air Force officer to earn the Admiral Stephen B. Luce Award as the class honor graduate.

Her hard work earned her a competitive selection to fly combat aircraft. As a result, she became part of the first group of women to fly modern fighter aircraft. Over her 21-year career, Nicole achieved the Air Force’s highest rating of Command Pilot. But her accomplishments don’t stop there though. She was also the first woman to fly on any Department of Defense military jet demonstration. Additionally, her proudest moment was leading the first fighter formation to provide security for Iraq’s historic democratic elections in 2005. 

White House Fellow

On the ground, Nicole was a White House Fellow. The White House Fellows Foundation even awarded her the 2019 IMPACT Award for remarkable achievement, transformational contributions in her field, and sustained commitment to the White House Fellows program.

Nicole also served two high-level staff assignments at the Pentagon. Specifically, she worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Force Office of International Affairs. Most significantly, she served as the Executive Director of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative. In this role, Nicole directly advised First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on all topics relating to service members, veterans, and military families including employment, education, mental health, veterans’ homelessness, and more. 

Nicole’s Neurological Illness

As Nicole continues to recover from her neurological tick-borne illness, she embraces any opportunity to educate others about her medical journey. After being misdiagnosed, she is now an outspoken advocate who educates the system that failed her in the hope of preventing others from enduring her same fate. She is on the Board of Directors at the LivLyme Foundation and is a Patient Advisory Board Member of The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness. In November 2020, Nicole was announced as one of 2020’s Mighty 25 for her advocacy, The Mighty 25 is a recognition bestowed each year to change-makers in the veteran, active duty, and military family space.

Keynote Speaking

Today, Nicole brings her experience to the stage as a top military speaker. Her keynotes inspire, educate, motivate, and push the audience to action. As a member and leader of numerous exceptional teams, she understands the value of teamwork and how to build extraordinary teams. Organizations looking to navigate change, build excellence, conquer self-doubt, or improve decision-making hire Nicole Malachowski.

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 empowers people with three key beliefs: failure and risk are 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.”

How to Hire Nicole Malachowski

Find out how to hire Nicole Malachowski to appear at your next event. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group to inquire about Nicole Malachowski’s availability and cost. When booking Nicole Malachowski for an event, we need to know the type of venue and location the event will take place. Nicole Malachowski is a popular choice for corporate events, private events, and virtual events. So, you can click the Check Availability button or contact us and an MPG Nicole Malachowski booking agent will get back to you within 48 hours.

Nicole Malachowski Booking Price

How much to book Nicole Malachowski depends on the type of event. So, the cost to hire Nicole Malachowski for corporate or private events is available by contacting a Mollie Plotkin Group Agent. Notably, Nicole Malachowski is available for conferences, festivals, private parties and events. Just contact the Mollie Plotkin Group and tell the booking agent the proposed date, time, and location.

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Upcoming Engagements

Our speakers are in high demand! View their upcoming events.

Jun 17 - 20 2024

Kinexions 24 Annual Conference – Keynote Speaker Lisa Bodell – Miami, Florida

JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
Jun 22 - 23 2024

Atlanta Women’s Expo 2024 – Keynote Speaker Laila Ali – Atlanta, GA

Gas South Convention Center
Jun 24 - 27 2024

HFMA Annual Conference 2024 – Keynote Speaker Suneel Gupta – Las Vegas, NV

Mandalay Bay Convention Center
No event found!

Key Audience Takeaways

Harnessing Headwinds – Successfully Navigating Change & Adversity

Leaders across every industry and experience level share one thing in common: To be successful they need to effectively navigate failure, organizational change, and the unknown. Like headwinds to a pilot, these perceived barriers can force you to change direction, cost you momentum, and even take away options. These headwinds can feel confusing, disorienting, and downright uncomfortable. In this talk, Nicole Malachowski uses the aviation-based idea of headwinds as a metaphor to show how with the right mindset, individuals and teams can learn to harness the energy of these headwinds in their advantage. Nicole inspires individuals and organizations and bolsters their ability to:

  • Overcome personal and professional failures.
  • Effectively navigate organizational and cultural change.
  • Endure the discomfort of the unknown.
  • Increase resilience, reinvention, regroup, and adaptability.
  • Have the courage to rise above self-doubt and cultural paradigms.
  • Support and mentor others on the team.


Pushing the Envelope – Being the Best When It Counts

To be successful, leaders from every industry and experience level need to effectively navigate moments of self-doubt, master the role of a trustworthy team player, and embrace moments of personal and professional vulnerability. Using the idea of an aircraft performance envelope as a metaphor, this elite fighter pilot and military leader will share inspiring personal stories and practical tools to ignite individuals and teams to reach beyond commonly assumed limitations to achieve their maximum capabilities and impact. Nicole Malachowski’s presentation will teach individuals and teams to:

  • Overcome the self-doubt that inhibits personal and professional growth.
  • Model the selfless trust needed to be an effective teammate.
  • Practice vulnerability and transparency to build trust and galvanize teamwork.
  • Build accountability, dependability and reliability that drive performance.
  • Break down silos to unleash creativity and adaptability.


Breaking Barriers – Conquering Self-Doubt & Cultural Paradigms

Everyone faces barriers, both personal and professional, that may appear to place limits on what’s possible. When people pursue only what is expected, accept cultural norms that hold them back, and view barriers that appear unsurmountable, their personal and professional lives become limited—scripted. A powerful trailblazer herself, Nicole Malachowski reminds audiences to not let others draw their boundaries, and to break tradition with grace and purpose. She inspires people to see obstacles and challenges as opportunities to grow—a chance to reach new levels of personal and professional excellence. Nicole delivers actionable insights for pursuing dreams, making choices, and living an unscripted life.

  • Define your own possibilities and overcome self-doubt.
  • Reevaluate traditions, paradigms, and overcome limitations.
  • Welcome challenges to the status quo.
  • Why having the courage to ask for help is key to, reaching your potential.
  • Acknowledge the work-life balance myth.


Conquering Fog & Friction – Leading Through Times of Crisis

“No war plan survives first contact with the enemy” is a truism. In the military, leaders must acknowledge and address the fog (things we can’t see, know, or predict) and friction (the forces which impede progress) of war. In such times, effective leadership is more crucial than ever. Using the challenges and uncertainties of combat as a metaphor for organizational challenges, Nicole Malachowski stresses perspective, priorities and positive leadership as she provides tools for leaders to use in times of crisis—or anytime—to keep their organizations successfully moving forward. Nicole offers leaders a framework to lead through fog and friction in times of crisis.

  • How to proceed regardless of the unknowns your organization facing.
  • How to maneuver around or through impediments to your organization’s progress.
  • Understand the leadership challenges that are unique to times of crisis.
  • Keep focused on your purpose; perspective is critical to manage risk and adapt.
  • Positivity and calmness are essential. Instill confidence; don’t add to the chaos.


The Mach 2 Mindset – Decision-Making in a High-Speed Environment

One popular pilot saying is “speed is life,” because without enough speed, an airplane is nothing more than an expensive rock. In the business world, especially when technology is involved, speed can be just as crucial. The organization that moves the fastest often realizes the most success. Having flown a high-tech fighter aircraft that can reach speeds of up to twice the speed of sound, Nicole Malachowski offers principles that keep any organization functioning smoothly, efficiently, and at high speed, even when chaos and the unexpected occur. Nicole’s insights help leaders create a culture where decisions get made quickly.

  • Assess the dynamics that slow your organization down.
  • How turmoil in your operating environment slows you down.
  • How does a need for speed impact decision-making.
  • Trust, clear roles, and communication are vital to navigate the unknown at speed.
  • Practice, planning, and preparation underpin organizations that move quickly.

Client Testimony for Nicole Malachowski

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