Wright Brothers Institute President Announces Retirement

21.02.24 06:58 PM By Jennie Hempstead

WBI President, Mr. Wendell Banks, has announced his retirement after serving as WBI's leader after four years. Wendell joined WBI in October of 2019 to support engagement between WBI and theAir Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). In the months that followed, Wendell experienced the unexpected passing of his decades-long friend, and WBI's Executive Director, Dr. David Walker. He emerged as the interim leader of WBI, while COVID raged across the globe and forced an evolution in workplace culture. He officially accepted the position of President (formerly Executive Director) in July of 2020, with the endorsement of WBI's Board of Trustees. In addition to his leadership at WBI, Wendell is also the President of the Ohio Educational Outreach Foundation, which seeks to facilitate partnerships between the Wright-Patterson AFB Educational Outreach Office and kindergarten - 12th grade educational communities across the State of Ohio. 

Wendell's story is one of remarkable achievements and steadfast commitment to service. Prior to his position at WBI, Wendell worked for Universal Technology Corporation and as an independent consultant, following his retirement from AFRL, where, in his capacity as a member of the Senior Executive Service, he served as Director of the Sensors Directorate at AFRL. As Sensors Director, he oversaw an annual budget of $850 million and managed approximately 1,300 scientists, engineers, and support personnel. 

Wendell only has positive things to say about the team he's led for four years. " I’ve never worked with a more professional team, or one more dedicated to supporting their Air Force partners than this one. It’s been a great experience and I’m privileged to have had the opportunity."

To Wendell, we extend our heartfelt congratulations on his well-deserved retirement. May this new chapter be filled with joy, fulfillment, and cherished moments with his loved ones. Please join us in celebrating the extraordinary career of Wendell Banks and in wishing him all the best in his future endeavors.

Jennie Hempstead