Author & Expert
Tony Kern Ed.D
Founding Partner, CEO and CLO
Convergent Performance, LLC
Dr. Tony Kern is the Founding Partner and Chief Learning Officer (CLO) of Convergent Performance, LLC, a veteran-owned small business located in Colorado Springs. Convergent Performance was formed in 2003 and is specifically dedicated to reducing human error and improving performance in high risk environments such as aviation, military operations, surgical teams, law enforcement and firefighting. Tony is one of the world’s leading authorities on human performance in time constrained, error intolerant environments and has lectured on the subject around the globe for more than two decades.
Dr. Kern has authored eight books on human performance, including the award-winning “Plane of Excellence” trilogy (Redefining Airmanship, Flight Discipline and Darker Shades of Blue; McGraw Hill 1995, 1997, 1999). Over the past five years, Dr. Kern has broadened his approach beyond aviation. In his latest “Empowered Accountability” series (Blue Threat: Why to Err is Inhuman and Going Pro: The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism; Pygmy Books 2009, 2011) he creates a 21st century guide to extreme professionalism for individuals and organizations “while remaining true to themselves and growing where they are, with the resources at hand.” A prolific writer, Tony is also a featured columnist and Contributing Editor for Skies and Vertical 911 magazines. In addition, Dr. Kern has been interviewed regarding his methodologies by the Fox Business Network, Bloomberg TV, the Discovery Channel, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News and 48 Hours with Dan Rather, among others.
Despite his numerous advanced degrees, Dr. Kern does not consider himself an academic. He has deep operational roots in the U.S. Air Force as a Command Pilot and Flight Examiner in the B-1B bomber, as well as diverse senior staff and leadership experience, including service as the Chairman of the U.S. Air Force Human Factors Steering Group, and Director and Professor of Military History at the USAF Academy. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 2000, Dr. Kern served as the National Aviation Director for the U.S. Forest Service, where he directed the largest non-military government aviation program in the world in support of federal wildland fire suppression. Tony is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and the U.S. Federal Government Senior Executive Service Development Program.
Dr. Kern has received multiple awards for his research, program management, speaking, writing and leadership including, the University Aviation Association’s John K. Lauber Safety Award (2015) and the Flight Safety Foundation-Airbus Human Factors in Aviation Safety Award (2015). He holds Masters Degrees in Public Administration and Military History, as well as a Doctorate in Higher Education specializing in University Administration and human factors training design. Tony enjoys hunting, fishing, sports of all kinds and writing. He currently lives with his wife of 30 years and their seven dogs in Tucson, AZ.