Bhakti Mary, CoFounder of Wright Women & Co-leader of Lean In Ohio

BIO: Major Bhakti Mary is Co-founder of the Wright Women Lean in Circle and a Co-leader for the Lean In Dayton chapter. Also, she is a Flight Commander, 14th Intelligence Squadron, 655 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. She leads a flight of 12 Air Force Airmen performing the Air Force Reserve intelligence integration in Air Force Materiel Command acquisition programs.  Bhakti Mary is also an Air Force civilian.  In this capacity, she is the deputy program manager for a $500 million dollar central computer development program on one of the United States Air Forces most lethal fighter jets - The F-15 Eagle.

Major Mary was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri and grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  In 2004, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management and received her commission from the United States Air Force Academy. She began her career as a watch officer, flight commander, mission director and deputy chief of mission operations at the 301st Intelligence Squadron at Misawa Air Force Base, Japan.  In 2007, she achieved her Master's degree in Business Administration.  Following that assignment, she served at Wright-Patterson AFB as the program manager of the Panoramic Night Vision Goggle Program.  In October 2009, she deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Quality Program Manager and Lead Quality Assurance Representative for Theater Wide Contracts valued at $4B for Defense Contract Management Agency.  She has served as a program manager on many programs in the Fighter/Bomber Directorate.  Prior to her current assignment, she served as a weapon systems intelligence analyst for Fighter/Bomber Programs in the Aeronautical Intelligence Division and the assistant director of operations in the 14th Intelligence Squadron.

Lean In Dayton: Tell us a little about you- your background and your most recent role or occupation.

Bhakti Mary: I grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  From there, I entered the military in 1999 and have been serving ever since.  I have served in the United States, Japan, and Iraq.  Currently, I am a civilian program manager at Wright Patterson Air Force Base where I lead a 40-plus member Integrated Product Team in the development, test, and production of a new central computer for a military aircraft.  I cofounded the Lean In Wright Women Circle because I am passionate about opportunities that facilitate learning, development and expression of our best selves.

Lean In Dayton:  What career and/or academic achievement are you the proudest of?

Bhakti Mary: I am most proud of my graduation from the Air Force Academy.  This taught me that, with the right habits, one could build a new foundation for learning and achievement at any level.

Lean In Dayton:  Name any awards and recognitions you've received.

Bhakti Mary: The most notable and recent awards/recognitions are:
  • 2016 14 Intelligence Squadron Field Grade Officer of the Quarter (Jan-Mar)
  • 2016 Air Force Reserve Command High Potential Officer, Intelligence
  • 2015 Air Force Reserve Command High Potential Officer, Acquisition Management
  • 2015 F-15 Division Senior Civilian of the Year

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