Biography - Mary Anne Thompson

Mary Anne Thompson

Ms. Thompson has over 50 years experience in the aerospace and aerospace education community including key management responsibilities on major Intelligence programs, business development and customer relations, National leadership in aerospace industry and professional organizations and also in the field of aerospace education.  Most recently she was President of Thompson Consultants, LLC focused on supporting client development of customer relations and new business with the Air Force and other DoD agencies.

In 2003 Ms. Thompson retired from a 20 year career with TRW Inc. (Northrop Grumman Mission Systems) with a broad spectrum of technical and management experience. Ms. Thompson’s business development focus was in the areas of Air Force Command and Control systems programs including Air and Space Weather, Electro Optical Deep Space Surveillance, Tactical C2 systems, Command Centers, and Early Warning Radar systems. She served as a principal interface to the USAF for TRW.  She retired as the Manager for Air Force Programs, Northrop Grumman Missions Systems Washington Operations.

Ms. Thompson  held key management positions on TRW contracts with the FAA first as the Manager for Training, Logistics, and Maintenance on the FAA Enroute Voice Switching and Communications System (VSCS), and then as Manager, National Air Space System (NAS) Configuration Management. Prior to those positions, she managed the TRW Systems Division Technical Support Services Department, represented TRW to the NSIA Computer Aided Acquisition and Life Cycle Support (CALS) Industry Steering Group where she chaired CALS EXPO INTERNATIONAL 1992, co-chaired the Software Products Committee, and co-authored the DoD baseline document for conversion of DoD Software Standards to CALS compliance. Ms. Thompson also served as the TRW Systems Division Coordinator and Facilitator for the Managing for Productivity program.

Prior to joining TRW in 1983, Ms. Thompson enjoyed a successful 20 year career in Education serving as a classroom teacher, school administrator, and museum educator. She served as the Director of Curricular Programs at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Smithsonian Institution. Her publications, all focusing on Aerospace Education, include 6 major curriculum guides for the Smithsonian, conceptualization and development of the original NASM interactive classroom and teachers’ resource center, and numerous educational works for the FAA, Civil Air Patrol, and NASA. She was an active classroom teacher and administrator in Spain, Nebraska, and Alabama schools instituting aerospace programs in each. Ms. Thompson has conducted numerous aerospace education workshops and has been a leading advocate of aerospace education since 1960. She founded the first university level Aerospace Education Instructional Materials Center at the University of Nebraska and has participated in a leadership role in the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education (NCASE) since its inception over 39 years ago. She was an active member of Civil Air Patrol for many years serving in several CAP Wing positions and developing four CAP children’s activity books and leading development of “Falcon Force”, a middle school interactive learning kit used by schools nationwide.

Ms. Thompson served for ten years as a Trustee of the Aerospace Education Foundation (AEF) and recently retired after serving three years as the AEF President., with oversight responsibilities of its budget of $4 Million and oversight and management of all Foundation Programs. After 16 years on the Board of Directors of the Air Force Association, she now serves as a National Director Emeritus, an advisor to its Aerospace Education Council and on the Senior Leaders Advisory Committee (SLAG). While serving as the National Secretary of the Air Force Association (AFA), Ms. Thompson traveled extensively to Air Force installations and AFA field units, regularly interfaced with executive levels of the Air Force and DoD concerning AFA National Policy, and played a key role in the 1997 Golden Anniversary of the Air Force celebration. She has also served as AFA Chapter and State President, National Vice President, and chaired numerous national committees. Ms. Thompson held the offices of President of the Aerospace and Transportation Education Association and The National Coalition for Aviation Education (NCAE) and is the immediate Past Chairman of the Board of NCAE where she led program expansion.

Ms. Thompson began her aerospace career with leadership roles in Angel Flight (Silver Wings predecessor) at Penn State University in 1957. She served as on the first National Staff as the ASO and subsequently as the Area Commander. Among her contributions on the National Staff were the development of the first SOP and the insignia Wings and Service key…both of which remain in active use today. She also formed the original Angel Flight at the University of Nebraska in 1963 serving as its first campus advisor. And, she served on the first National Advisory Committee (1960-1965). She currently serves as a Trustee on the Arnold Air Society/Silver Wings Board.

She has been recognized for her contributions to aerospace education and industry and her awards include: Air Force Association National Member of the Year (2000), named an H. H. Arnold Fellow of the AFA (2008), the AFA Distinguished Sustained Aerospace Education Award (2009); TRW Woman of Achievement (1993), Silver Wings National Honorary President (1997), and induction to the Civil Air Patrol “Crown Circle (1997). She currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Thornton W. Burgess Society, Sandwich, MA.

Education:  Ms. Thompson holds a B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University; an M. ED degree from the University of Nebraska; and the ED.S advanced graduate degree from Troy State University. She has two children and four grandchildren.

(Current as of Mar 2017)