Butte Native Sarah Rhoads to Deliver Montana Tech Commencement Address


Sarah Rhoads BioSarah C. Rhoads, the Director of Amazon Air, will deliver the commencement address at Montana Tech’s 119th ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The university is expected to award 685 degrees and certificates to 577 students.

“The university is pleased to have Sarah Rhoads return to her hometown and speak to the graduates at our commencement ceremony,” noted Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter. “I know the graduates will enjoy her speech about grit and gratitude.”

As the Director of Amazon Air, Rhoads is the Director of Amazon Global Air and is responsible for the vision and leadership of a talented, high-performing team of professionals dedicated to delivering excellence across Amazon’s expanding air-haul network that includes Boeing 737 and Boeing 767 aircraft operating out of 27 airports globally. Sarah joined Amazon in May 2011 as an Operations Manager in Lexington, Kentucky. In early 2012, Sarah was promoted to Senior Operations Manager leading teams in Lexington and Columbia, South Carolina before relocating in 2013 to Fort Worth, Texas, to lead the launch of the outbound operation in the largest, robotics-ready facility in Amazon’s world-wide network.

In June 2014, Sarah transferred to the United Kingdom to become the General Manager of one of the largest operations in the U.K. located in Wales. In January 2016, Sarah relocated to London and assumed the role of Regional Director of Operations, responsible for leading thousands of Amazon employees and fulfillment center operations throughout northwest England and Wales. In April 2017, Sarah returned to the United States and accepted a position that combined her passions for aviation and Amazon operations as the Director of Aviation Operations with Amazon Air based in Seattle. She assumed the role of Director of Amazon Air in September 2017. In December 2018, Sarah was named the “Air Cargo Executive of the Year” by Air Cargo World, an international air cargo publication. In April 2019, Sarah assumed world-wide responsibility of Amazon’s air network as the Director, Amazon Global Air.

Prior to joining Amazon, Sarah served in the U.S. Navy as an F/A-18 E/F fighter pilot, holding qualifications as a designated combat section lead, division lead, functional check flight pilot, and instructor pilot, accumulating over 250 day and night carrier arrested landings on four different aircraft carriers, and executing 37 combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sarah’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree with Merit in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College.

Sarah, originally from Butte, Montana, is an avid downhill skier, world traveler, outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys running 5K/10K races for charity. She is a Tokyo marathon finisher and a single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument-rated pilot.

For more information, please contact Amanda Badovinac, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, at 406-496-4828 or abadovinac@mtech.edu.