Trish Gilbert has served as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s seventh executive vice president since she was first elected in September 2009. In both March 2012 and March 2015, Gilbert was re-elected by acclamation to a second and third three-year term, respectively. In July 2018, Gilbert won re-election for an unprecedented fourth term. Gilbert is the first executive vice president in NATCA’s history to serve more than two terms.
That is not, however, the first time Gilbert and NATCA President Paul Rinaldi have made history; though NATCA’s top two positions are elected separately, in 2009 they campaigned for their respective positions as a team, which had never been done.
Working as a team with NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Gilbert has helped lead and oversee NATCA’s comprehensive efforts to build successful working relationships with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), the aviation industry, the AFL-CIO, and members of Congress that have resulted in excellent progress on aviation safety. Her efforts include serving on many boards and committees: the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC), the FAA/NATCA Collaborative Steering Committee, the Aero Club of Washington Board of Governors, Director of the NATCA Charitable Foundation, and as the Vice Chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Air Traffic Services Committee. Gilbert served for two years on the Constitution and Administration Committee (CAC) of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) and currently serves on IFATCA’s Finance Committee (FIC). Gilbert also sits on the AFL-CIO Political Committee, Legislative/Policy Committee, and the Committee on Women Workers. She is also the former Labor Chair and is still a current member of the FAA Labor Management Forum, which was tasked with modeling collaborative behavior, providing leadership, sharing best practices, and developing templates regarding pre-decisional involvement and cooperation.
In May 2018, at its annual Women in Aviation Scholarship luncheon, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) honored Gilbert by announcing the creation of a new permanently-endowed scholarship in her name.
Prior to election as NATCA EVP, Gilbert worked 21 years as an air traffic controller at Houston Center, and served in many activist roles within the union, including Facility Representative, Southwest Region Chair of NATCA’s National Legislative Committee, and Chair of the National Legislative Committee. She also chaired NATCA’s National Organizing Committee, and served as NATCA Charitable Foundation’s vice president and president.
Trish Gilbert resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband, John, a retired air traffic controller who also served as NATCA representative at Houston Center, arbitration advocate, and the National OWCP Committee Chair. They are the proud parents of daughter, Jenna, and son, John Colby.