Social, legislative, and political activist |
Shari Zabel was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. She eventually graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BA in History and Political Science and with a commission in the US Air Force. She has a Master of Aeronautical Science as well. She is a combat fighter weapons officer. She served in the Air Force for 20 years before retiring.
Her career flying in fighters included becoming one of the few to become qualified and lead combat operations in both the Navy and the Air Force when she served in a joint tour with the Navy flying EA-6B’s while stationed at NAS Whidbey Island. She started her flying career flying F-4’s with tours in the F-111, EF-111, and F-15E. After serving in a NATO Air Operations Center in Eskisehir, Turkey, she moved to Colorado Springs as the Deputy Director for the Schriver Wargame, the four nation look at the entire space enterprise. That wargame involved principal from every organization and company involved in space from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the US.
After retiring from active duty she became a civil servant in Headquarters NORAD. There she was the principal agent for the Commander of NORAD to obtain the people and equipment from the US and Canadian armed forces to defend North America. After retiring from civil service Shari came to a point in her life that changed everything. She began her transgender transition.
Knowing her identity was not acceptable she kept it secret until she could no longer accept the damage that secret was causing in her life. She embraced who she is and became a social, legislative, and political activist. She currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Springs Equality the Colorado Springs LGBT center and chamber of commerce. She is also the Co-Host of the Transgender Alliance for ONE Colorado striving to keep Colorado legislation fair for LGBT Coloradans. During her time working with the Colorado legislature she began to form plans to entire public office once more as an elected official.
She is a 2016 graduate of Emerge Colorado whose goal is to train Democratic Party women to be candidates and to win elections. She is a volunteer for the El Paso County Democratic Party and precinct chair. She not only has political ambitions for herself, she also helps others and is currently the campaign manager for Julia Endicott who is running for State Representative in Colorado Springs.