News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

White House Official to Speak at Palo Alto Veterans Summit
Exec. Director of Joining Forces and First Female Pilot Member of Thunderbirds Air Squad to Address Group
Contact : Minka van der Zwaag, Human Services Manger    650/463-4953
Palo Alto, CA – Colonel Nicole Malachowski, executive director of Joining Forces, the White House initiative on supporting veterans and their families, will be the keynote speaker at the City of Palo Alto Human Relations Commission Summit on Ending Veteran's Homelessness to be held on Friday, Oct. 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mitchell Park Community Center.

Initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in 2011, Joining Forces is a nationwide initiative focused on the support of service members, veterans and their families with a focus on wellness, education and employment opportunities.

Col. Malachowski is a member of the United States Air Force and was the first female pilot selected to fly as part of the USAF Demonstration Squadron better known as the "Thunderbirds".  Malachowski flew with the team based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada from 2005 to 2007.  She was deployed in early 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and flew 26 combat missions.  Col. Malachowski was appointed as Executive Director of Joining Forces last May.  Click here for bio, click here for photo.  

Santa Clara County has the highest proportion of unsheltered homeless veterans in the country, representing approximately 11 percent of the total homeless population.  Palo Alto is estimated to have at least 40 homeless veterans, and the Veterans Summit seeks to educate and activate the local community on the issue of veterans homelessness through a dynamic panel of expert speakers from the Veterans Administration, InnVision Shelter Network, Peninsula Healthcare Connections, HomeFirst and Destination Home.  Topics that will be covered during the summit include housing and health care challenges faced by homeless veterans and what the community can do to tackle the issue.  

Palo Alto Mayor Karen Holman will provide opening remarks beginning at 1 p.m.  For more information or to RSVP (preferred, but not required), contact Mary Constantino,