We are proud to feature Scott Wilson as June’s Member Spotlight. Scott is a long-time friend, supporter, and board member of the Council. He recently retired from a 23-year career at Pratt and Whitney, a position which took him all of over the world.
Current Position/Field of Work:
I just retired from Pratt & Whitney after 23 years, where I was a lawyer specializing in aircraft finance and leasing. I had 14 years of similar prior experience too.
What is the most interesting part of your role?
My job with P&W gave me the opportunity to deal with many airlines and related financing and support companies around the world. I dealt with companies in many countries and was exposed to many different cultures. For instance, I started working in Russia in the mid-’90s, not long after the fall of Communism and where free market principles had not taken root yet (and where, in my opinion, there has not been much development since). That was incredibly challenging and ever-changing. I also handled many matters in Brazil, India, and China – all emerging economies.
Can you describe your most recent travel experience?
My wife Holly and I were in London at the end of May. The Manchester concert bombing occurred while we were there and we saw the effects of England’s first-ever “critical” terrorist alert. The Brits have a great security apparatus but they are, like us, struggling with the balance between combatting terrorism and a longstanding commitment to personal liberty.
Where would you like to travel next?
I’d love to go to Egypt, where I did a big aircraft transaction twenty years ago and was charmed by the people and the antiquities. And we definitely plan to take a short vacation in Ireland by taking advantage of Hartford’s wonderful Aer Lingus door-to-door service, which we are very lucky to have!
Global issue you find fascinating right now:
Wow. Well, first, I’m depressed by the Russian situation, where Putin appears to be having some success in rattling the foundations of the long-standing security institutions (NATO, the EU) that have secured peace in Europe since 1945. Second, watching China is fascinating, where I wonder how much longer the people will continue to accept the subordination of personal liberties to their government’s economic aspirations. And third, I’m watching the EU situation with interest, wondering if their great experiment with the Euro and softened borders will fail. I remember traveling through Europe as a student, with the trains stopping at every border for passport checks regardless of the time of day (or night). Travel through Europe has sure become a lot easier, and I hope it remains.
Without a doubt, raising our two kids to be responsible and intellectually curious young adults.
Why you support the Council:
Because it provides a forum for the discussion of the issues that impact our place in the world community. If the free exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of a flourishing democracy, we need to continue to set an example for the emerging democracies of the world.