John “JV” Venable is a Senior Research Fellow for Defense Policy for the Heritage Foundation. He is a graduate of the USAF’s Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and has flown fighter aircraft all over the world. He holds three masters degrees, and as well as eight Department of Defense commendations for superior achievement and outstanding performance including the Bronze Star. JV is an inspirational speaker, seminar leader, and coach on building and leading high performance teams. He is the author of “Breaking the Trust Barrier,” a book about building and leading high performance teams published by Berrett-Koehler in June of 2016. JV has led individuals, teams and organizations as large as 1,100 people at the highest ends of performance and risk in both peacetime and in combat. Most notably was his time as the commander and demonstration leader of the US Air Force jet demonstration team, The Thunderbirds. He resides in Springfield, VA with his beautiful wife Lil, and their two sons Harrison and Walker.