NDIA welcomes Rachel McCaffrey as new leader of Women In Defense

Rachel McCaffrey, Women In Defense executive director

ARLINGTON, VA – Rachel McCaffrey, a former Air Force colonel who led the service’s command and control (C2) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) programming and planning division, is the new executive director of Women In Defense, the National Defense Industrial Association announced Monday, Nov. 13.

McCaffrey will lead the 21 chapters of WID, an NDIA affiliate and professional development organization that supports women’s advancement in all aspects of national security. The group offers networking, education and career growth and recognizes the contributions of women in the field through awards and scholarships. McCaffrey will work with Tameka Brown, WID membership and chapter manager.

"I’m grateful to NDIA leadership for this fantastic opportunity and excited to join the dynamic NDIA and WID team,” said McCaffrey, who begins with WID Nov. 13.  “As a retired Air Force officer, I know the Defense Department depends on industry to provide warfighters with decisive advantage across the spectrum of conflict. I look forward to working with our members to create programs and events to attract, develop and retain the skilled professionals who will continue to deliver the advantage our military personnel need to successfully defend our nation.”

“Encouraging women in national security careers is among our tenets, and we’re pleased we’ll have Rachel to carry out that mission,” said retired Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and chief executive officer. “Her first-hand experience makes for a good foundation on which WID can thrive.”

McCaffrey retired as a colonel in September after more than 28 years working in Air Force intelligence operations and planning. Most recently, as the chief of the C2 and ISR programming and planning division, she helped define and defend C2 and ISR program funding within the Air Force’s Program Objective Memorandum and long-range plan.

Before her Pentagon tour, McCaffrey served as assistant chief of staff for intelligence at NATO’s Air Command at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and led ISR operations during the NATO air campaign in Libya. She also commanded the 9th Intelligence Squadron at Beale Air Force Base in California, and served as deputy chief of the resource division within the Intelligence Directorate at Air Combat Command, Langley AFB in Virginia.

McCaffrey holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a master of arts in English language and literature from the University of Maryland. She also has a master’s degree in military operational art and science from the U.S. Air Command and Staff College, and a master of arts degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. 

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit NDIA.org

About WID

Women In Defense (WID), a National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Affiliate, engages, cultivates and advances women in all aspects of national security. Incorporated in 1985, Women In Defense provides members a business environment for professional growth through strategic networking, education, and career development. This national alliance is comprised of women and men from industry and defense organizations of every size; all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces; Government agencies, academia, think tanks, associations, and professional services.