Colonel Rachel McCaffrey, USAF (Ret)

Vice President, Membership & Chapters and Executive Director, Women In Defense
Bio

Colonel Rachel A. McCaffrey is the Vice President of Membership and Chapters for the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and the Executive Director of Women in Defense (WID).

Based in Arlington, Virginia, NDIA is a non-profit, educational association representing industry, government, and academia. Rachel leads the Membership and Chapters team, providing networking, knowledge, and business development opportunities to 1,700 corporate and 75,000 individual members. As the nation’s leading defense industry association, NDIA promotes collaboration to deliver cutting-edge technology, weapons, equipment, training and support to warfighters and first responders. Through events, divisions, regional chapters and three affiliate organizations, NDIA convenes ethical forums connecting experts from government, academia and the defense industry to define threats and design solutions to ensure U.S. and partner national security.

WID strengthens the Defense Industrial Base and workforce by promoting programming that creates and enhances opportunities for women, increasing diversity within the national security enterprise. WID’s twofold mission focuses on empowering women currently working in defense and encouraging talented young women to pursue careers in National Security. WID’s 22 Chapters include members from defense companies; all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces; government; academia; think tanks; associations; and professional services.

Rachel came to NDIA and WID after more than 28 years in the Air Force. In her last assignment, she led an Air Staff Division responsible for planning and programming Command and Control and Global Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Prior to her Air Staff tour, Rachel served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Air Command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. During her NATO tour, Rachel led the ISR Division for Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR where she oversaw more than 70 personnel who planned, executed, and evaluated ISR operations. Rachel also commanded the 9th Intelligence Squadron at Beale AFB and is a fully qualified Joint Specialty Officer, serving on the Joint Staff in the Intelligence Directorate.

A native New Englander, Rachel grew up in Central Massachusetts. In 1988, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and received her commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. She earned her Master’s Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. Rachel also attended the Intelligence Weapons Instructor Course, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Army War College.