Nikki is the daughter of immigrant parents who worked hard to achieve the American Dream. Nikki’s dad emigrated from the Philippines as a teenager and worked as an auto mechanic. Her mom came to the United States as a young child, started as a secretary, and eventually finished college at the age of 52.
Nikki attended public schools before getting a scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy, where she was an All-American rugby player and two-time national champion. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and became the first in her family to graduate from college. She later earned a master’s degree in diplomacy from Norwich University.
After September 11th, Nikki signed up for pilot training, where she met her husband, Rob. They deployed together three times. Nikki flew the KC-10 Extender and was selected to become an instructor pilot at the Air Force Academy. Eighteen months after her son was born, Nikki deployed twice more, where she flew the MC-12, commanding intelligence and reconnaissance missions at Bagram, Afghanistan.
By the time she completed active duty, Nikki accumulated over 3000 flying hours and commanded more than half of the 217 combat missions she flew over Iraq and Afghanistan. Nikki attained the rank of Major. Her military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, eight Air Medals, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Nikki is now in the Air Force Reserves serving as a USAF Academy Admissions Liaison Officer.
In 2015, she was accepted into General Electric Aviation’s premier veterans Junior Officer Leadership Program in Evendale, Ohio. Today she is intimately involved in GE’s Veterans Network and works to hire veterans from all branches of service into the company. She also volunteers as a veteran career transition counselor for Hire Heroes USA, a national nonprofit helping veterans transition back to the civilian workforce. She is a board member of the Association of Graduates Rugby Alumni Affinity Group for the Air Force Academy and volunteers as a Christian Faith Program teacher at St. Susanna Catholic Church.
Nikki lives in Mason, Ohio with her husband, Rob, and her sons Wyatt and Henry. After leaving active duty, Rob became an airline pilot with United Airlines.