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IAWA Selects 2015 Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award Recipient: Cecile Hatfield, Esq.

The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2015 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Cecile Hatfield. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Cecile Hatfield, Esq. as the fourth recipient of this award.

Hatfield has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry. She has been a member of IAWA since 1991 and served in a leadership capacity as a Board member for many years, including as Secretary, Chair of the Scholarship committee and Chair of the Advisory Board. In addition, she was the first woman to serve as Chairman of the American Bar Association (ABA) Aviation and Space Law Committee. She is currently the Past President and Contributing Editor for the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and she continues to serve as the Program Chair of the Annual Embry Riddle Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium. IAWA Past President, Katherine Staton spoke of Hatfield, "Cecile has always been a trailblazer-she has been the first woman to do many things -and aviation has consistently been at the root of her "firsts."

Hatfield has long had a passion for aviation, obtaining her pilot's license in 1963 and her instructor's certificate shortly thereafter. Hatfield received her law degree in 1975 from the University of Miami after graduating with high honors from the University of Florida, where she was elected to the Hall of Fame and Mortar Board. In her early career she helped to pioneer the path for women in aviation. She was the first woman to serve as Associate General Counsel for Piper Aircraft Corporation, where she defended Piper in court against product liability claims. She then worked for the United States Department of Justice for nine years as an aviation lawyer trying many complex cases. During her tenure at the Department of Justice Hatfield won the case of Varig v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court. Varig is one of the landmark Supreme Court case addressing the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act and is cited in nearly every case addressing the issue. Further helping to pave the way for women, Hatfield has served for many years, and continues to serve as General Counsel to the Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of over 5,000 women pilots.

Hatfield has lectured and written articles on aviation and litigation for the American Bar Association, Lawyer Pilots Bar Journal, Practicing Law Institute, SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Lloyds of London Press Aviation Symposium, the Pennsylvania and Florida Bar Association and the University of Miami School of Law. She served on the Editorial Board of the Aviation Litigation Reporter and has served as Editor of the Newsletter for the ABA Forum Committee on Air and Space Law.

Since 1991, Hatfield has had her own aviation law practice in Miami, Florida. In 2008, Hatfield was nominated to "Who's Who Legal: Florida, 2008" as one of Florida's leading practitioners in the field of aviation law.

Cecile Hatfield's achievements exemplify all for which the IAWA Woman of Excellence Award stands - leadership, commitment and respect. She is highly regarded throughout the aviation community for her professionalism, grace and selfless commitment to the betterment of the aviation industry.

Cecile is a wonderful mother, she is a respected aviation lawyer, she is a recognized champion of women in the aviation industry, and she is a treasured friend to so many of us. Cecile exemplifies the IAWA Woman of Excellence criteria every day in her practice, in her dealings with people, and in her community activities. She is a true Woman of Excellence. IAWA proudly awards Cecile Hatfield the Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award for 2015.

Submitted: 04/30/15
Article By: not specified