Gina Ortiz Jones

27th Under Secretary of the Air Force; Barrier-Breaking Public Servant and Military Leader
Gina Ortiz smiling in a black blazer in front of a off-white background
  • Pioneering public servant who broke barriers and drove significant personnel changes as the second-highest civilian leading the Air and Space Forces
  • The first woman of color and out lesbian to serve as the under secretary of a military department
  • Veteran of the Intelligence Community--from Iraq to the African continent, expertise at the intersection of national and economic security and served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Engages and informs audiences with her powerful personal story tied seamlessly with insights on leadership, current events, geopolitical affairs, and the topics shaping society

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With an unwavering commitment to public service, The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has continually pushed boundaries, shattered glass ceilings, and left an enduring impact in the realm of national security, politics, and beyond.  She has held several high-ranking titles throughout her career, including becoming the first woman of color and first out lesbian to serve as the under secretary of a military department when she was appointed by President Joe Biden as the 27th Under Secretary of the Air Force in July 2021. Unanimously confirmed by the Senate, the appointment made her the second-highest ranking civilian in the Department of the Air Force, which includes the Air Force and the Space Force. She is a name synonymous with trailblazing leadership and an unyielding commitment to creating positive change.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Jones possesses a remarkable level of expertise in various topic areas that matter most to organizations across industries. From the relationship between national and economic security to foreign policy and international affairs, Jones analyzes the current and future trends in these areas, as well as the projected impact on organizations and industries, and how leaders can adapt their teams for what’s coming. She also reflects upon her own extraordinary journey of coming from humble beginnings to becoming an influential public servant to discuss the qualities that make people want to follow you as a leader; highlight why diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are the foundation for establishing a strong culture; and drive audience members to positive action.

Jones’ appointment as the 27th Under Secretary of the Air Force was all the more historic considering she, herself an Air Force veteran, served under the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. As Under Secretary, she was responsible for the welfare of approximately 700,000 servicepeople and led strategic planning for the department’s $180 billion annual budget to invest in and transition to the next-generation capabilities for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. She is credited with driving some of the most progressive personnel policy approaches in the Department of Defense aimed at addressing inequities and improving recruiting, readiness, and retention.

Beyond her distinguished career dedicated to protecting U.S. and economic security, the Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones is a widely acknowledged changemaker who is an advocate and inspirational voice to people from all walks of life. A proud first-generation American, her story of being raised by a single mother in subsidized housing and going on to write her name in history is one that resonates with groups and empowers them to make an impact in their own way.

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Speaker Video

Innovating Next Gen Capabilities and Valuing Diversity in the Air Force

1st out lesbian woman of color to serve as under secretary in US military

How Servant Leaders Empower Teams and Drive Results. In this dynamic keynote, the Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones will delve into her remarkable journey, sharing personal anecdotes and professional milestones that have shaped her into the influential leader she is today. She points to her unique experiences as a political and military leader, including her service as the Under Secretary of the Air Force, to highlight the critical role of strategic thinking, adaptability, empathy, and resilience when navigating teams through complex and rapidly changing environments. Jones offers a firsthand glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of high-stakes decision-making, while also emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration, as well as how these components spark more innovative teams that create improved outcomes.

Connecting the Dots on Today’s Current Events. With her unique insights into national and global affairs, former Under Secretary of the Air force and veteran of the Intelligence Community Gina Ortiz Jones offers unparalleled insights into the complex challenges shaping our world today. In this highly engaging and informative session, she walks audiences through the most pressing issues in politics, geopolitics, national security, economic matters, and the social factors that are evolving business and local, national, and global dynamics. Relating back to her own experiences as a public servant formulating responses to critical global events, Jones shares practical approaches for how leaders can sharpen their analysis of current events, make informed predictions on adapting their organizations, and devise strategies to address emerging challenges.

The Interconnected Realities of National & Economic Security. A respected public servant who served as the 27th Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones helps audiences unravel the compelling interplay between the critical pillars of national and economic security, and sheds light on their profound impact on the global landscape. In this keynote, she walks groups through the complex terrain where national and economic security converge — highlighting how national security imperatives and economic interests are connected in an era of heightened interdependence, and connecting them back to the interests of organizations and their specific industries. This keynote addresses the strategic considerations that leaders must embrace to ensure a delicate balance between advancing security while also promoting economic growth. Jones explores how foreign affairs, trade dynamics, technological advancements, and policy decisions can influence both domains and present opportunities for innovative solutions.

Global Dynamics Decoded: Insider Insights on Foreign Policy & International Affairs. The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones’ extensive experience in intelligence, strategic analysis, and high-level government roles uniquely positions her to provide an insider’s perspective on today’s top issues in foreign policy and current affairs. Sharing a clear and digestible overview of what’s going on in the world of global diplomacy, Jones sheds light on the evolving relationships between various nations, the delicate balance of power, and the conflicts that have influenced the lines of the contemporary international landscape. Through Jones’ compelling storytelling and real-world examples, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the pivotal role that foreign policy plays in shaping alliances, resolving conflicts, and advancing shared goals across borders, as well as the potential for global issues to hit closer to home within their own organizations and communities. 

Breaking Barriers, Fostering Inclusion: The Benefits of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility. When the Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones was nominated by President Joe Biden and unanimously covered by the U.S. Senate to serve as the 27th Under Secretary of the Air Force, she made history twice over as the first woman of color and the first out lesbian to serve as the Under Secretary of any military department. It was a remarkable feat for someone whose military service began during the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. Known for being a change agent who spearheaded countless forward-thinking personnel approaches aimed at reducing inequities during her tenure in the Department of Defense, Jones leads an eye-opening discussion on the tangible benefits of embracing the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as a leader. She reveals how DEIA is a strategic advantage that can lead to improved decision-making, enhanced creativity, greater trust within organizations, and increased organizational effectiveness. Jones also shares real-life examples of strategies she has utilized to further DEIA within the organizations she has led, and how today’s leaders can play their part in creating a more inclusive and equitable future.

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