Helping you keep pace in industries moving at the speed of light

Wahid Nawabi, CEO Aerovironment

“I faced life and death situations half a dozen times throughout my journey. The difference between surviving and dying was 51% to 49%.” –  Wahid Nawabi.

Buckle up for a journey from the war-torn dusty streets of Afghanistan to the forefront of defense innovation with Wahid Nawabi, CEO of AeroVironment. Dive into Wahid’s extraordinary ascent, uncovering how his early childhood trials have shaped him into a visionary CEO whose tactics have propelled his company into the defense industry limelight. As battlefields evolve, AeroVironment stands at the forefront of modern warfare. Discover their groundbreaking contributions, including their pivotal role in Ukraine’s conflict by deploying cutting-edge drones in record time. Wahid also shares indispensable advice on hiring, unveiling the essential qualities to seek when onboarding and offers invaluable strategies for cultivating innovation and excellence within high-performing defense teams.

From escaping danger as a teen to nurturing adaptability, discover the astonishing early life experiences that profoundly influenced Wahid’s gratitude, resilience, and leadership skills. Get ready to step into the shoes of an inspirational man whose early hardships didn’t hinder his path but instead forged his principles of courage, integrity, and innovation. Key points throughout include: 

  • A game changer in the war of drones: AeroVironment’s technological support for Ukraine’s Warfare Efforts
  • Building a High-Performance Team: From innovation to rapid market deployment
  • The secret sauce of a growth company
  • Rule Makers VS Rule Breakers: Cultivating a culture of continuous improvement
  • Record-breaking delivery: Inside AeroVironment’s rapid response to global defense needs
  • Onboarding killer talent: The essential attributes required for every hire
  • Hiring reflections: Lessons learned and the value of 90-day assessment periods
  • From childhood trials to leadership: Navigating life-and-death moments
  • Cultivating optimism and appreciation from a young age

“It’s not sufficient to just complain about a problem. Leaders need to understand, communicate, and articulate problems, but also provide solutions to the problems.” – Wahid Nawabi.

Listen on:

Get connected to your host Katherine Jerald:

Subscribe to Elray Insights

Additional Insights


Latecoere VP of Sales and Programs for the Americas and Japan: Daniel Warren

Dive into the cosmic connection of preparation, grit and passion with Daniel Warren, Vice President of Sales and Programs for the Americas and Ja....

Read More

Lee Rosen, ThinkOrbital’s Co-Founder & CEO

The trajectory of a career in the space industry can be as unpredictable and exhilarating as a rocket launch, and Lee Rosen's journey is a prime ....

Read More

firmly focused A&D recruitment

Reliably locating and engaging the leaders of aerospace and defense