WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – John Bailey, a 39 year-old chief engineer with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Big Safari program, was selected for the prestigious year-long MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program and is heading to Cambridge, Mass., this summer with his wife and four kids.
The origins of the fellowship program go back more than 80 years to Alfred P. Sloan an automotive and management pioneer and legendary president of General Motors.
In the 1920s Sloan had a problem. His high performing mid-level engineers at GM were not turning into good managers and leaders. Reaching out to his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT, Sloan helped established a program for talented engineers to develop the business and leadership skills needed to become successful company executives.
Today, the highly selective fellowship draws not just engineers but successful individuals from a variety of professions and industries from all over the world and count many distinguished alumni including former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kofi Annan.
During his time as an engineer for Big Safari – an Air Force acquisition program for specialized special mission aircraft – Bailey has been a key member of the team.
He has led large teams in providing engineering support for a wide variety of programs. He created the systems engineering and cybersecurity strategy for a life cycle management plan for aircraft in the portfolio and he has supported various safety investigations.
“John is an exceptionally talented engineer and leader,” said Col. Jeffrey Geraghty, commander of Big Safari. “Mission success in Big Safari rests on the pillars of expertise, attitudes, authorities and relationships and John brings tremendous capability in each of these areas. More importantly he mentors his team toward excellence, and focuses himself on personal growth to enhance mission performance. All the while, John models exemplary stature as a servant-leader at home and in his community.”
During the fellowship, Bailey’s coursework will include classes on macro and international economics, global markets, operations management, digital marketing and social media analytics, mergers, acquisitions and private equity, negotiation, and strategic leadership communication.
“It is humbling to be selected for this fellowship,” said Bailey. “I’m thankful the Air Force chose to invest in me. I’m thrilled to learn new skills, and return to contribute to the acquisition community.”
“My family is also looking forward to this new adventure,” Bailey added. “My kids ranging from ages four through thirteen, have recently turned their emotions from anxiety to excitement.”