Author & Expert
Tony Kern Ed.D
Founding Partner, CEO and CLO
Convergent Performance, LLC
Dr. Tony Kern is a Founding Partner and the CEO of Convergent Performance, LLC, a veteran-owned small business located in Colorado Springs dedicated to reducing human error and improving performance in high-risk environments. 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 three decades.
Dr. Kern has received multiple awards for his work, including the USAF McDermott Award for Original Research, the Aviation Week & Space Technology Laurels Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government and Military, the University Aviation Association’s John K. Lauber Safety Award and the Flight Safety Foundation-Airbus Human Factors in Aviation Safety Award. While Tony is grateful to have won these and other awards, it’s a completely different honor to have an award named after you. In 2015, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced the creation of the Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award to honor his contributions to professionalism around the globe; and, to date, there have been more than 70 award recipients.
Tony is the author of nine books on human performance, including the award-winning “Plane of Excellence” trilogy (Redefining Airmanship, Flight Discipline, and Darker Shades of Blue). In the past decade, Dr. Kern has broadened his approach beyond aviation. In his latest “Empowered Accountability” series (Blue Threat: Why to Err is Inhuman, Going Pro: The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism, and The Ghost of Nathan Hale) 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 Valor magazines. In addition, his expert opinion has been sought for interviews on 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, Tony 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.
Tony holds Master’s 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 and his wife of 34 years currently live with their animals—surprising in both their number and variety—on a Texas ranch west of San Antonio.