Michelle Curran

Former United States Air Force Major and 5th Female Lead Solo for the Thunderbirds

  • 2nd ever woman to fly as Solo Lead for the Thunderbirds
  • Author of ‘Upside Down Dreams’
  • 2021 Distinguished Alumna Award issued by the University of St. Thomas
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Wilma Vaught Award
  • Air Force Commendation Medal

Discover [post:title]’s biography of published work below.

Michelle Curran 2
Upside Down Dreams

When [post:title] is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Flying Through Fear: How Vulnerability Fuels Success
Stepping Into Your Boldness
Facing Your Fears
Authenticity in a High Performance Environment
Embracing the Unknown and Uncomfortable
Creating a Culture of Trust

Michelle “Mace” Curran is a former fighter pilot for the United States Air Force (USAF) where she reached the rank of major, best known for her remarkable stint with the Thunderbirds, the USAF’s elite demonstration squad, from 2019-2021. A true testament to her determination as a woman in a male-dominated field, Michelle was only the fifth woman to fly with the Thunderbirds since its formation in 1953, and only the second ever woman to fly as #5 – lead solo, and is now one of the most respected and inspiring women in the aviation industry, having performed to millions of spectators around the world.

Growing up in a small town in Northern Wisconsin, Michelle was a shy girl with a big desire for adventure. She started her coveted career within the USAF as a student pilot, spending two years training with the 14th Operations Group, she then spent her next year as an F-16 Fighting Falcon Student with the 308th Fighter Squadron. Thereafter, Michelle spent three years in Japan at Misawa Air Base, flying F-16s and then spent a further three years as an F-16 Instructor Pilot, all the while building up an impressive reputation and résumé. Whilst with the Thunderbirds, it was not the flying which Michelle found to be the most rewarding part, it was, in fact, the opportunity to inspire and empower other women. Michelle was able to inspire many young girls and open their minds to the possibility of a career in the Air Force.

Since transitioning out of the military, Michelle has set herself a new task: to help other women push through failure to reach their dream, no matter the odds. Her first book ‘Upside Down Dreams’ is set to be released in May 2023 and is written to inspire young girls with big dreams. Her remarkable high-performance career has been recognised by many and Michelle has received an impressive list of awards and honours: 2021 Distinguished Alumna Award, Meritorious Service Medal, Wilma Vaugh Award and the Air Force Commendation Medal, to name but a few.

With her impressive skillset, she has set an example for millions of women and girls that through hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish anything. Using her experience from her extraordinary career, Michelle shares her knowledge with audiences at speaking engagements, and has been featured on the likes of The Kelly Clarkson Show, CBS Evening News and Glamour. If you are looking for an empowering female motivational speaker who has been in some of the most high-pressure situations possible, hire Michelle Curran today.

Official Testimonials

Michelle Curran is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:

“Your messages around trust, inclusion, imposter syndrome, allowing failure to happen and be ok, really resonate with our workforce”

Leader, Microsoft

“The very honest, poignant, and personal stories you shared provided important and meaningful perspective and inspiration for all of us”

Headmaster, St. Mark's School of Texas

“I’ve been in my role for nearly 10 years and thinking about moving into a leadership position for the last few. I often wonder if I am good enough or smart enough for this shift. Your message hit home and has encouraged me to take that leap of faith

Leadership NeXt, Boeing

To enquire about Michelle Curran for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via agent@female-motivational-speakers.com or call a booking agent on 0203 9158 282.