BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Behind AWAR’s success is our dedicated team of experienced leaders, drawn from multiple sectors of the aviation industry including major airlines, leasing companies, financial institutions, law firms and professional services organizations. We share a passion for the advancement of women in all aspects of the industry, and an unwavering belief that by engaging with our male and female industry colleagues, we can drive real change.

AMELIA ANDERSON

AWAR Co-Founder & President

Amelia Anderson is Co-founder and President of AWAR. During her 30-year career in corporate finance, Amelia saw first hand the challenges that women often face in advancing their careers. She also saw how dialogue across gender lines can help leaders recognize and overcome bias to level the playing field.

Amelia currently serves as Chair of the Dublin City University Aviation Industry D&I Advisory Committee, a multi-sector working group that kicked off in June 2019. Together with DCU’s Centre of Excellence for Diversity & Inclusion, this committee will spend a year studying the D&I challenges facing Ireland’s critical aviation industry, and developing recommendations, toolkits and thought leadership publications to address them.

Amelia also serves on the Investor Advisory Board of Portfolia, Inc., a women-focused venture investing platform based in Menlo Park, California. Portfolia seeks to reinvent the venture investing model by funding diverse founders and teams who are developing products and services that women want to see come to market, and by making these investment opportunities more accessible to women with its unique fund structure and its inclusive “learn by investing” approach.

Previously, Amelia was Managing Director, Assistant Treasurer of American Airlines, where she and her team executed over $50 billion of best-in-class transactions, including financing 500+ new aircraft. Amelia also served as co-chair of the American Airlines Women’s Leadership Program.

In 2017, Amelia was honored to be named the inaugural recipient of the Aviation Woman of the Year award by Airfinance Journal.

Amelia holds a BS degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and an MBA degree in Corporate Finance from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Amelia, her husband Robert and their two teenage daughters reside in Coppell, Texas.

DANA A. BARTA

Executive Director, Head of Aviation Finance Team, Global Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley

AWAR Co-Founder & Treasurer

Dana joined Morgan Stanley in January 2010 as an Associate in Morgan Stanley’s Capital Markets (GCM) Division and quickly rose through the ranks. Currently an Executive Director and Head of the Aviation Finance team, Dana is responsible for originating and executing deals in the Transportation space. Dana has been involved in all Morgan Stanley EETC transactions since 2010, raising $35Bn+ for domestic and international EETCs. In 2016 Airline Economics has recognised Dana as one of the “40 under 40” to watch.  Dana is a co-founder of AWAR.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Dana worked at JPMorgan as an Analyst in Structured Credit Products and at Wachovia as an Associate in Structured Equity Products. In these roles, Dana was involved in structuring Synthetic Collateral Debt Obligations and Alternative Investments respectively.

Dana graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science and from Columbia’s MBA – the Executive Program in 2015 with Dean’s Honors, sponsored by Morgan Stanley.

Dana was born and raised in Romania and moved to the U.S. to attend college. She lives in New York City with her husband, son and daughter.

KATHLEEN MURPHY

Senior Vice President Marketing, Avolon

AWAR Secretary

Kathleen joined Avolon in April 2017 having previously worked at CIT Aerospace for 27 years. Kathleen is responsible for managing customer relationships with US and Canadian airlines which includes operating leases for new and used aircraft, sale leasebacks and lease extensions.  Prior experience included negotiating restructurings of transactions during industry downturns, sales of airframes and engines as well as loans and leases from CIT portfolio.  Prior to working in aircraft leasing, Kathleen worked for Manufacturers Hanover as an Airline Industry Analyst, and for AT&T as a Finance Manager and a Marketing Associate.  Kathleen graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a BA in Business and English and an MBA from Rutgers School of Business.  Kathleen and her family live in Manhattan Beach, CA.

IRENA BADELSKA

AWAR Board Member

Irena is a Board Member of AWAR and has spent over eleven years in the front lines of the aircraft finance and leasing industry, most recently as a Commercial Officer and a Senior Vice President at Amedeo, an asset management platform and a principal investor focused on commercial aircraft leasing with AUM of US$ 8 billion. Irena was a founding member of Amedeo and has represented the interests of UK institutional investors and multinational private equity shareholders.

In addition to her Board Membership at AWAR, Irena serves as a Committee Member at the Aviation Club in the UK and is a member of the Dublin City University Aviation Industry D&I Advisory Committee.

Irena was a partner at Doric Partners LLP and a member of Doric Asset Finance’s structuring and advisory team from 2008 until 2013, having worked in the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking divisions of leading global financial institutions between 2004 and 2008.

Irena has spoken at numerous aviation conferences and institutional investor events over the past decade on the topics of aircraft investments, asset management, aircraft redeployment and secondary market development, aviation finance, lessor consolidation, aircraft programs evolution as well as gender equality and human talent.

Irena has originated, structured and executed cross-border commercial aircraft financing and leasing transactions involving major international airlines, introducing a suite of financing instruments including equity & debt capital markets products, mezzanine securities and commercial debt financing.

Irena has been closely involved in managing the IPOs of LSE-listed, aircraft investment companies and has led the structuring and execution of US debt capital markets transactions, raising in excess of US$1 billion. Irena has successfully negotiated multilateral lease and loan agreements with the senior management teams of international airlines across multiple jurisdictions.

Irena has extensive experience in managing relationships with key aviation industry stakeholders such as equity investors (pension funds and insurance companies), commercial lenders and investment banks, aircraft and engine manufacturers, international airlines, major leasing companies and asset platforms, and various brokers and intermediaries.

Irena was recently acknowledged by Airline Economics as one of the ‘40 under 40’ future leaders in the aviation industry and was featured in the 2018 issue of the magazine ‘Aviation Life’.

Irena has completed an Executive Leadership Programme in Strategic Negotiations at Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Studies from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany.

Irena is a graduate of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programme at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and is interested in exploring opportunities of developing innovative investment solutions focusing on key socio-economic and environmental challenges related to the accomplishment of the 17 SDGs established by the UN in 2015 and leveraging off the latest trends in AI (deep learning and advanced machine learning), IoT, Big Data, and blockchain.

Irena is a keen mountaineer, and an amateur sea-kayaker and ice-climber and has undertaken several expedition-style adventures over the past six years including climbs in Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, France, Greenland, Iceland, Mongolia, Peru, Russia, Tanzania, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

As part of her mountaineering pursuits, Irena has completed successful fundraising initiatives for several charitable organisations, most notably in aid of the inspiring projects established by Orbis and WellChild.

MURRAE ROSS-ESKELL

Founder and Managing Director, Horizon Executive Search International Ltd

AWAR Board Member

Murrae Ross-Eskell is Managing Director and Founder of Horizon Executive Search Int’l Ltd. 

With over fifteen years experience in executive search, Murrae is a specialist executive search consultant for the Aviation Industry.  She has successfully placed people in executive and senior roles across the value chain, including aircraft leasing companies, aviation financiers, airlines, airports and service providers (including MRO, catering and ground handling).

Horizon Executive Search, formed in early 2007, was created with two goals in mind; Firstly, that the focus be solely on the clients’ requirements and secondly it would be a search firm that would span not only the various sectors of the aviation industry but also a wider range of personnel levels from board and executive level, to senior and middle management levels across all the functional areas.

The type of roles Murrae has filled extends from C’Level, senior and middle management in varying functions, across the globe from Asia, Europe and Africa, giving her a wealth of experience. 

Murrae is a member of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Traders (ISTAT) and currently sits on the ISTAT Foundation Board as a trustee, along with being the Chair of the Education Committee which includes both the Internship Committee and ISTAT U. Additionally, she is a member of the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA), as well as the Aviation Club of the UK and is a Board Member of Advancing Women in Aviation Roundtable.

Prior to her role at Horizon, Murrae worked at Odgers (Ray &) Berndtson initially as manager of the Global Response Department, and then as an Associate, in the Aviation practice, with particular responsibilities for search, business development and marketing activities.

Murrae’s early career was in media production and the education sector. 

ImpactfuL AWAR EVENTS

Unique opportunities for real engagement – across gender and seniority lines

AWAR events seek to educate and enlighten, providing unique opportunities for engagement with our industry colleagues. Roundtable exercises set the stage for meaningful dialogue and learning through shared experiences.

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