Vaughn College will honor J. Randolph “Randy” Babbitt, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, with an honorary doctor of science degree at its 2011 commencement ceremony on May 21.

babbitt4A veteran pilot and internationally recognized expert in aviation and labor relations, Babbitt has been a member of the FAA’s Management Advisory Council since 2001 and was sworn in as the FAA’s 16th administrator on June 1, 2009.

Babbitt began his aviation career as a pilot, flying for Eastern Airlines for 25 years. He served as president and chief executive of the United States Air Line Pilots Association (US ALPA), the largest professional organization of airline pilots. While there, he championed the “One Level of Safety” initiative implemented in 1995 to improve industrywide safety standards. He also promoted the international expansion of ALPA through a merger with the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association in 1997.

Babbitt is a founding partner of Eclat Consulting, a highly successful aviation firm that was based in Reston, Virginia. He served as president and chief executive until Eclat was acquired by Oliver Wyman in 2007.

While a member of the FAA’s Advisory Council, Babbitt provided guidance to the administrator on topics that ranged from air traffic modernization to regulatory policy. He was chairman of the council from 2004 to 2006.