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Matice Wright-Springer is a senior vice president in the aerospace industry at Booz Allen Hamilton. She started her career in the U.S. Navy as a naval flight officer, becoming the first African American woman to hold that position.

Her iconic naval photo has been displayed for decades in numerous publications and at various locations, including the Pentagon, serving as a reminder of her legacy and the path she paved for future generations.

After her service in the Navy, she was chosen as a White House fellow. Later, she was appointed to a position in the federal Senior Executive Service, where she led the U.S. Department of Defense’s manufacturing and industrial-based policy effort.

Despite the lack of opportunities for Black women, her achievements in engineering, aviation, and leadership roles overseeing billion-dollar defense contracts showcase excellence.

Her accomplishments as a barrier-breaking figure serve as an inspiration for others to make a difference. She is actively involved in engaging with young people, inspiring them to pursue their passion for flying and future leaders to achieve a seat in the boardroom.

During her acceptance speech at the 2024 BEYA Gala, she expressed her gratitude for receiving the award and thanked her family for their support during her long pioneering journey.

She said, “I am truly honored to receive this award, not just for myself but for all the people who were denied the opportunities afforded to me and now to all whom my dreams may inspire.”

As a trailblazer, she worked hard to earn a seat in the cockpit, which was a challenging task. Today, she is among the first Black females to hold a position in her 110-year-old Fortune 500 conference room. She is equally comfortable in the cockpit of a heavy jet aircraft as she is in a corporate boardroom.

She has calculated airplane speeds at altitudes and can now use digital twins to calculate airplane altitudes with speed.  She emphasized that STEM is the reality of today’s world, and her mother’s quote, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” was critical as a Black female in the United States Naval Academy in the 1980s.

She never imagined she would graduate from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University and end up on the amazing BEYA stage as a pioneer.

Breaking barriers, trailblazing, and rejecting stereotypes have been her reality, and she’s not done yet. She’s living proof that you can turn your pioneering dreams into reality. She ended her speech by saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Fly Navy. To God be the glory.”

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