Michael Morales

Former Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force

Mike Morales was born on September 17, 1977 and died on May 8, 2020, at the age of 42. Mike was a genuine, smart, and curious man whose presence touched the lives of our entire community. He was a dear friend of the Foundation, and we were honored to have had him as a Young Leader and alumnus. He cared deeply about those around him and empowered all of us with his smile and energy. Mike is missed dearly, and his memory is cherished in the hearts of his friends, US military compatriots, wife, and four sons.

Mike led an inspiring and admirable life as a devoted husband, father, and a Lieutenant Colonel and pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He served as a Legislative Liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, where he worked closely with the members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to advocate for Air Force priorities. He served as a 2016-2017 White House Fellow and Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he led major strategic partnerships such as the Small Business Technology Coalition and worked as the policy lead for Puerto Rico.

Prior to that, Mike served as a squadron commander in Kabul, Afghani­stan, where he led a multinational combat flying advisory team responsible for the development of the entire Afghan Air Force airlift capability. Mike spent his career advising political and military leaders globally, from leading teams planning and executing all U.S. military exercises in Central and South America and the Caribbean, to building partnerships with air forces in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He piloted C-17s and C-130s on over 200 combat airlift missions into Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mike earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.A. in Religion and a Master of Divinity from Liberty University, an M.S. in Logistics from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and completed an executive MBA from the Smartly Institute.

Mike served on the advisory board of CivikOwl, a tech startup focused on exposing fake and biased news and providing high quality perspectives from across the political spectrum in an attempt to raise civic-mindedness in our country. He was selected to the 2017 class of French-American Foundation Young Leaders, as a 2018 delegate to the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, and was a member of Cru Military, Mensa, and the Global Leaders tier of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.