2020 Tillman Scholar

Caitlin Haner

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“My goal is to advance aerospace and associated life-changing technologies through business in order to share the industry’s inspiring innovation with society.”

Knowing that she wanted to serve her country, Caitlin joined Army ROTC at Gonzaga University because of the school’s emphasis on servant leadership. After graduation, Caitlin was thrilled to serve her country and her fellow soldiers as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. Inspired by aerospace since she was a child, Caitlin loved the mental challenges of being an aviator and the constant amazement that human beings could collaborate to make something as complex as a helicopter fly.

In search of a way to have a greater personal impact, Caitlin applied to join Special Operations Civil Affairs. She graduated the qualification course at the top of her class and specialized in the Indo-Pacific region, creating a distinct opportunity to serve the last three years as a civil affairs team leader on missions throughout six different countries. Most recently, Caitlin was selected to serve as the Pacific augmentation team leader and lead U.S. Special Operations liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal.

After completing eight years of service in the Army, Caitlin will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology to earn her M.B.A. She is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with her fellow students on furthering aerospace projects from the business management perspective. Upon graduation from M.I.T., Caitlin plans a career as a leader in the aerospace industry where she hopes to continue serving society by advancing the life-changing technologies that result from the pursuit of aerospace objectives.