Keynote Speakers

David Robinson
Keynote Speaker and TopGun Instructor

Fee: Negotiable
Travel: David travels from Hilton Head, South Carolina.

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Leading Teams in High Pressure Environments

Developing teams that consistently excel under pressure requires leadership that is focused in three key areas. Sharing stories and personal experiences from aircraft carriers, TopGun training, and combat operations, David delivers an inspiring message describing leadership principles that can transform your organization into a high-performing team when the stakes are high.

Building a Culture of Safety and Reliability

High-reliability organizations are built through high-reliability leadership. Drawing parallels from aviation safety, David discusses leadership fundamentals that are essential to creating a culture of safety and reliability in your organization.

Leading Teams Through a Crisis

Crisis leadership can make or break an organization. Using examples of successful and unsuccessful leadership during crises, David shares a framework that can help leaders think through the first hour, day, week, and month following a crisis—before the crisis occurs.


Downlaod Bio (PDF) David Robinson is a senior executive with over 25 years of experience leading complex organizations to operational excellence. He recently retired as a Colonel from the United States Marine Corps after a distinguished career that included several Director and CEO-level leadership positions. In his final assignment, he was the Commanding Officer of a $12B aviation organization where he managed a fleet of 250 fighter aircraft and led 2,500 people supporting global operations.

David is a former TopGun Instructor who has flown over 100 combat missions and more than 200 aircraft carrier landings in the FA-18 Hornet. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for supervising over 20,000 combat missions and more than 2,000 medical evacuations while serving as the Director of Air Operations in Iraq. David also served as a Strategic Program Director for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC where he led over 100 studies used to develop the Pentagon’s ten-year strategic vision and six-year budget for the Department of Defense.

David graduated with honors from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in systems engineering, and subsequently earned master's degrees in military leadership and national security strategy. In his current role as the founder and CEO of Vertical Performance Enterprises, David has worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies in the areas of leadership development, culture transformation, and operational risk management. He and his family live in Hilton Head, South Carolina.