Foundation Board Members

Laura Barbour

Laura Barbour, Ph.D. has taught and counseled youth from preschool through graduate school in a variety of education and mental health settings for over 30 years. She is a graduate of Oregon State University, Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, George Washington University, and Hollins University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Laura serves as a Board Member for the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award Foundation and Chair of the Laura Taber Barbour Scholarship Committee.




Philip Drake Barbour

Philip Barbour is president of the Barbour Media Management Group (BMMG) based in Birmingham, Alabama.  BMMG is a boutique advertising agency, a marketing cooperative of writers, directors, producers, designers, editors and crew specializing in productions of high end TV advertising, print and web design.  A graduate of Florida State University’s famed film program, Mr. Barbour has worked as a writer and producer, and award winning documentary filmmaker and columnist over the last 25 years.




Stacey Bechdolt
Vice Chair

Stacey Bechdolt works in the Engineering & Air Safety Department at the Air Line Pilots Association and is President/Founder of the Aerospace Education Resource Organization (AERO). Through AERO, Stacey works to increase diversity in aerospace fields by facilitating educational and career opportunities for those who may not otherwise explore aviation and aerospace. An aviation industry leader, Stacey brings over two decades of experience solving complex issues where certification, operations, technology, legislation, regulation, policy, commerce, and the law intersect. She is a member of the Civil Air Patrol’s Board of Governors, Civil Air Patrol’s Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Royal Aeronautical Society Board. Stacey is a private pilot and received several NTSB certificates in the areas of investigations, fatigue, and aircraft accident survival factors.
Previously, in her role as Senior Counsel – Air, Space, and Transportation at The Moak Group, Stacey staffed the DOT’s Special Committee to review the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Process and Certification of the Boeing 737 MAX and the Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at airports. Prior to that, Stacey was the Vice President of Safety and Operations and Regulatory Counsel at the Regional Airline Association. Stacey is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Law and holds a Master of Laws in Transnational Business Practice from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.




Brett Eastham

Brett Eastham currently serves as RTCA’s Vice President of Business Operations, with oversight of finance, human resources, marketing, and membership. Before joining RTCA, Brett served as Chief Financial Officer and VP Business Development for the Flight Safety Foundation. Prior to joining the aviation sphere, Brett worked in public accounting for ten years gaining a wealth of experience advising organizations in the nonprofit sector.




The 2017 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award Recipient
Peggy Gilligan

Peggy Gilligan retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in March, 2017, after 37 years of federal service. She assumed her last position, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, on January 5, 2009 after serving as the Deputy Associate Administrator in that organization for 14 years.

As Associate Administrator, Peggy led the organization responsible for setting, overseeing, and enforcing safety standards for all parts of the aviation industry – airlines, manufacturers, repair stations, pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, and any person or product that operates in aviation. These programs have a direct impact on every facet of domestic and international civil aviation safety. Aviation Safety programs are carried out by a work force of more than 7,000 employees located in Washington headquarters, regional and directorate offices, and more than 125 field offices throughout the world. The organization’s annual budget was more than $1 billion.

In June 2014, Peggy received the 2014 L. Welch Pogue Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aviation. The award recognizes her visionary leadership in the aviation community and was given by Aviation Week & Space Technology and the International Aviation Club. In October 2011, Peggy accepted the Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership. The annual award is given to two Federal senior executives who have shown exceptional leadership while devoting themselves to a career of public service.

In May 2009, Peggy and her Industry co-chair accepted the Robert J. Collier Trophy in recognition of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team’s (CAST) work in developing an integrated data-driven strategy that reduced aviation fatalities in the United States by 83 percent over 10 years. Peggy served as the government co-chair of CAST — a joint industry/government group committed to improving aviation safety by reducing the risk of accidents.

In April 2006, Peggy and her Industry co-chair received the Laurel Award from Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine for improving aviation safety and “reducing the risk of fatalities in world aviation” through CAST. The annual award recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments of individuals and teams in aviation, aerospace, and defense.
Peggy was Chief of Staff at the FAA, serving four Administrators. She also served in the Chief Counsel’s office in Washington and as a staff attorney in FAA’s Eastern Region in New York. Peggy is a 1979 graduate of Boston University School of Law and a 1975 graduate of Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY. She resides in Washington, DC.



The 2021 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award Recipient
Henry Gourdji

Henry Gourdji has a lifetime of experience working in the aviation sector, including more than twenty-two years in the international arena with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), holding prominent senior management positions.
Prior to his retirement from ICAO, Mr. Gourdji held the position of Acting Director of the Bureau of Administration and Services and led the administration of all of ICAO and its secretariat for a period of eighteen months which included not only playing key role in running of the 40th General Assembly of ICAO, but also pivoting the organization so as to operate under the Pandemic of COVID-19. Prior to this temporary assignment, he was appointed Head of Strategic Planning, Coordination and Partnerships in the Office of the ICAO Secretary General. Previously to this role, he was Deputy Director, Monitoring and Oversight, in the Air Navigation Bureau and was responsible for developing and managing the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP), one of ICAO’s leading programs, known today as the world’s ‘watchdog’ for aviation safety.

Mr. Gourdji previously worked in the Canadian civil service, including ten years with Transport Canada, managing Canada’s Civil Aviation National Audit Programme. Mr Gourdji holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Strategic Studies with the Canadian Armed Forces. He holds a Canadian aircraft maintenance and engineering license for airframes and power plants and is an active pilot with a multi-engine rating. He retired after 31 years of Canadian military reserve service with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Mr. Gourdji received the Military Canadian Decoration for his service to Canada in 2009 and was the recipient of the Flight Safety Foundation President’s Citation award in 2011 for his contribution to world aviation safety. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C) by the Governor General of Canada for monitoring compliance and augmenting safety procedures around the world and enhancing Canada’s reputation as an international leader in the field of civil aviation. In 2021, he was awarded the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award for his significant contributions in improving aviation safety worldwide.



Nancy Graham

The 2015 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award Recipient
Nancy Graham

Nancy Graham is the President of Graham Aerospace International, which assists the aviation and aerospace industry in understanding the aviation community needs so that privately funded initiatives can be safety accepted into the global aerospace system to enhance the human experience at a societal and economic level.

Nancy previously as the Director of the Air Navigation Bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organization (2007-2015) where she led the Bureau through a major transformation.

Major accomplishments included the complete overhaul of both of the Global Aviation Plans (Safety and Air Navigation) with specific performance priorities and targets, a first in the United Nations system. Nancy is a strong believer in government/industry partnerships, sharing common objectives to improve aviation safety and efficiency, and instituted realtime reporting against those Global Plan common objectives.

Pushing ICAO beyond its traditional boundaries, Nancy produced the first ICAO Symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (also known as UAV’s) and oversaw the development on ICAO’s first set of standards for these new craft. Nancy also produced ICAO’s first Symposium on Commercial Space to prepare ICAO to support this industry.

Prior to joining ICAO, Nancy was an Executive with the Federal Aviation Administration for many years serving in Washington DC, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia representing the FAA throughout the globe.

Nancy holds a Masters degree in Technology Management and serves on the Board of Directors for the Singapore Air Traffic Management Centre of Excellence through Nanyang University (Singapore), and the Dreams Soar Foundation.



The Honorable Richard F. Healing

Richard F. Healing, a professional engineer and internationally recognized safety expert, joined R Cubed Consulting, LLC as a Senior Partner on August 1st, 2005 after retiring from a Senate Confirmed, Presidential Appointment as Board Member on the National Transportation Safety Board, where he served since March 2003.  In 2008, he became CTO for R³ Engineering in order to lead the development of an all weather sense and avoid system for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) under a contract with the Office of Naval Research.
During his term at NTSB, Member Healing held the Safety Engineering position, and provided key technical inputs on several investigations with major national interest – the major aviation disaster when American Airlines Flight #587 crashed in New York, the Staten Island Ferry boat crash in 2003, the US Airways commuter flight crash in Charlotte, N.C.,  and several rail and highway accidents.  Member Healing is credited with bringing new focus to air medical crashes and offshore aviation services helicopter accidents.  The NTSB and FAA have both conducted critical reviews addressing the unnecessary, increasing losses in these communities.

At the time of his nomination to the NTSB, Mr. Healing was Director of Transportation Safety and Security for Battelle Memorial Institute where, since March of 2002, he held primary responsibility for Battelle’s relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration and provided program oversight for most of Battelle’s aviation safety programs, including the Aviation Safety Reporting System, operated for NASA.

Prior to March of 2002, Mr. Healing was the Director, Safety and Survivability, for the Department of the Navy, beginning in 1985.  During his Navy civilian career, his work focused on aviation safety and emphasized benefits from sharing military safety information with others in the aviation community, including commercial aviation. He also was a founder of the Navy’s highly successful Human Factors Quality Management Board, which was responsible for major reductions in aviation accidents and savings of lives and losses of assets exceeding billions of dollars.

In 2001, Mr. Healing was presented the Navy’s highest civilian award – the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal. He also was recognized with the SAFE International “General Spruance Award” for safety education achievement, and an Aviation Week “Laurel” for bringing new awareness to the importance of wire health and condition monitoring technology in aviation. Other awards include the Navy Superior Public Service Medal for creating the Navy’s Safety Non-Developmental Items program, and the Defense Superior Service Medal for active military service during Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
From 1971 to 1983, Mr. Healing was President and CEO of an engineering, construction and contracting services firm in Connecticut. He also was Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Fairfield Precision Industries, a manufacturer of replacement parts for the military.

A licensed Professional Engineer since 1974, Mr. Healing attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Engineering Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Harvard University, and Georgetown University. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1990, and was selected to participate on the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange. In 1991, he was a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University.

Mr. Healing served 6½ years active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. After 30 years of service, including four commands, he retired from the Coast Guard Reserve with the rank of Captain.  He is an active member of Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), Helicopter Association International (HAI), the American Helicopter Society International (AHS), and the Naval Helicopter Association (NHA).

Mr. Healing’s work at R-Cubed Consulting has included primary safety consultant to the largest commercial helicopter operator in the world; the Executive Committee of the International Helicopter Safety Team; the executive advisory committee of Parks College of Engineering, St. Louis University; the research advisory board for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Board of Directors of STI (Systems Technology, Inc.) of Hawthorne, CA; Executive Steering Committee of GAIN (Global Aviation Information Network); the Aviation Safety Task Force of the Department of Defense; the Private Motor Vehicle Task Force of the Department of Defense; selection to be on the Defense Safety Advisory Commission; and numerous national and international speaking engagements.  As Chief Technology Officer for R³ Engineering, he is responsible for technical oversight of a multi-million dollar effort to overcome constraints against integration of UASs into the United States National Airspace System (NAS) through development of a collision avoidance technology suitable for small UASs, that can also provide collision avoidance capability for any light or legacy aircraft operating in the NAS.  Mr. Healing also provides business consulting services to small companies, with emerging technologies, wishing to initiate or expand business with the federal government and its agencies.



Captain Craig T. Hoskins

Craig T. Hoskins is currently the Vice President, Safety and Technical Affairs for Airbus Americas, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for the facilitation and coordination of Airbus activities and interests related to safety, regulation and certification standards, human factors and operational matters in the Americas.

Craig is a graduate of the U.S. Army Aviation Safety Officer Course, University of Southern California Aviation Safety Certificate Program, NASA-Ames Fatigue Countermeasures Course and holds a M.S. Degree in Training and Leadership.

He has accumulated over 32 years of aviation/human factors experience that includes military and commercial operations as a Technician, Pilot, Safety Consultant, Mishap Investigator, and Human Factors Senior Analyst.

Craig has also developed and conducted numerous training courses/seminars on Aviation Maintenance, Crew Resource Management, Threat and Error Management, Human Factors, Fatigue Countermeasures, and Team Building/Process Improvements for military operations, government organizations, and airlines world-wide.



Seyoung Jang

My name is Seyoung Jang but I’m often referred to as Evie. Originally from South Korea, I am currently a senior at Liberty University, majoring in Aviation Administration with a focus on Aviation Safety Management. I was honored as a 2022 Barbour Scholar and am more than delighted to join the Board. Currently, I am also working as a Global Partnerships Associate at Wisk Aero. My passion lies in aviation safety, and my current research project involves analyzing safety data from traditional U.S. commercial airlines, rotary wing aircraft, and UAS to explore ways to adapt these insights to enhance the safety of urban air mobility operations. In addition, I hold the role of treasurer at the Women in Aviation International Liberty University Chapter, where I actively contribute to fostering a supportive community for women in aviation.



The 2007 Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award Recipient
The Honorable Robert Sumwalt III

Robert Llewellyn Sumwalt III, the 2003 Recipient of the Laura Taber Barbour Air Safety Award, served twenty-four years as a pilot with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways, before managing the corporate aviation department for a Fortune 500 company. While at US Airways, Mr. Sumwalt served on the airline’s Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) assessment team.

With over 14,000 flight hours, Robert has performed aviation safety research in coordination with NASA’S Aviation Safety Reporting System and served as a faculty member of the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security Program. He served as Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group and was co-founder of their Critical Incident Response Program, created to offer support to airline personnel in traumatic situations.

Mr. Sumwalt was appointed to the National Transportation Safety Board in 2006. He was named vice chairman by President George W. Bush for two years before being reappointed by President Barack Obama. Nominated by President Trump to become the Chairman of the NTSB, Mr. Sumwalt was confirmed by the Senate and assumed the position in August of 2017. He was reappointed to serve as Chairman through 2021. In September of 2021, Robert Sumwalt was awarded the Boeing Aviation Safety Lifetime Achievement Award by Flight Safety Foundation.

In January 2022, Robert joined Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as Distinguished Fellow in Aviation Safety and Executive Director of the university’s Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety.



Ricardo Traven

Ricardo Traven is the Lead Test Pilot for the 787 Dreamliner located in Charleston SC. He was formerly the Chief Test Pilot for all models of the Hornet family of aircraft, including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler. He also is the Boeing Air Show Demonstration Pilot for the Super Hornet and also supported the 737 flight testing on the Australian Wedge tail program and served as one of the lead test pilots on the Navy’s P-8A program envelope expansion. He was an engineering test pilot on the 787-10 program and flew first flight of the second aircraft and many engineering test flights to certify the 787-10.

A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and a former U.S. Navy Test Pilot School instructor, Traven has more than 25 years of experience as a fighter pilot and test pilot. He retired from the Canadian Forces as a Major, and joined The Boeing Company in 1997.

As a test pilot, Traven has been instrumental in a number of key F/A-18 programs. While in the military, he developed the F/A-18 out-of-control and spin training program, the F/A-18 rig-test program, and flew as project pilot on NASA’s F/A-18 high alpha research vehicle. He also served as an instructor at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School. Since joining Boeing, he became a senior experimental test pilot on the Super Hornet development program flying many of the high AOA and spin test flights. He was influential in the development of the pirouette flight control logic for high AOA maneuverability, the wing drop flight test program, the Vmc flight control logic, and the 10.7 FCC logic that vastly improves the high AOA flying qualities of the heritage F/A-18 Hornet using E/F technologies. He was the principal test pilot in designing and developing air show maneuvers for the Super Hornet.
Traven has published numerous engineering technical papers on the F/A-18 flight control system and F/A-18 flight-testing at high AOA. He is frequently invited to speak about F/A-18 flight-testing, flight controls and out-of-control recovery techniques to customers world wide, professional societies and universities.
For his work, Traven was named U.S. Navy Test Pilot of the Year in 1995. He is a three-time recipient of the Ray E. Tenhoff Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP). He was elected as President of the SETP National Board in 2007-2008. Prior to this position, he served on all positions of the Board of Directors and is a Fellow of the Society.

Traven has flown Super Hornet demonstration flights at air shows around the world since 2001. In 2004 at the Royal International Air Tattoo in England, Traven was awarded the coveted King Hussein Memorial Sword for the best overall flight demonstration, and the As The Crow Flies Award for the best air display. He also was selected best foreign solo jet display by UK Air Show Review.

During his career, Traven has flown more than 5,000 hours in more than 60 models of aircraft, including the F-16, F-15, A-7, F-4, F-5 and T-2. He has logged more than 3000 hours in all models of the Hornet, and more than 1000 hours in the Super Hornet and was a combat-ready fighter pilot in NORAD and NA TO.