- 2nd Year
- MA International Studies
I am a Colorado native starting my second year at the Josef Korbel School as a student in the International Studies program. I grew up in a multiethnic household with a mother who taught for 35 years and a father who was a 30 year fighter pilot. My two brothers are Carlos, a weather man on WMTV Madison, WI and Diego, an ER Doctor at Oakland General.
Before life at the Josef Korbel School as a graduate student, I survived the University of Colorado Boulder and obtained a degree in International Affairs and Economics. Following undergrad, I wandered the world for two years, living out of a backpack, traveling by plane, train, boat, bus, car, rickshaw, and thumb. Having to grow up finally, I was selected for U.S. Air Force pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, with additional training over the next two years in Texas and Arizona. I graduated F-16 school October 2001, three weeks after 9/11. Since then, I have served as a fighter pilot for 14 years and have completed five combat tours in various all-expense paid trips to global destinations such as Iraq. My career has also taken me (in non-combat capacities) to locations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as extensive participation in flying exercises in Jordan, Brazil, and South Korea.
In 2009 I relocated to Washington, D.C. for three years as the F-16 and F-35 subject matter expert for the National Guard Bureau (NGB) A3 division, interacting with all military services and various congressional staffs regarding current and future National Guard and national security issues. I recently rotated back to Colorado, my home, where I was accepted and handed a "golden ticket" at the Jose Korbel School to begin pursuing the education for my next career. When not at school or work, I revel in globetrotting and Crossfit. I continue to serve as a full time fighter pilot instructor.