Meet the team

Sally French, Founder of the Drone Girl
headshot_sallyIf you spot a drone in the sky and the pilot on the ground stands tall at 4’10”, is wearing a sundress and has a cup of coffee nearby, then you’ve probably found Drone Girl. Drone Girl is the web, drone-flying persona of Sally French, a southern California native, journalist and “geek girl” who loves drones.

Her work has been published in outlets including The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, NPR, CNN, The BBC, Forbes, The Economist and  the Orange County Register.

She is a renowned public speaker in drones, having appeared at at South by Southwest (SXSW), Harvard Business School and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ “Engineering + Entrepreneurship Making Robotics Fly” event, and has led multiple seminars at conferences including InterDrone and the Commercial UAV Expo.

Sally was also named one of Fortune Magazine’s “4 top women shaping the drone industry.”

Sally first got interested in drones when she served as a photographer and producer at the Missouri School of Journalism’s drone journalism program in its inaugural year.The first “drone journalism” she did was  produce a video for Harvest Public Media in which footage from a drone documents a prairie fire.

That wasn’t her first experience using atypical forms of photography. During the summer of 2012, she was thrilled to join the NBC4 Los Angeles’ Investigative Team, where she did lots of undercover reporting with hidden cameras to crack down on doctors giving away illegal medical marijuana prescriptions or a housing rental company that was cheating customers.

You can reach Sally directly at

hamilton nguyenHamilton Nguyen, Creative Director

Vivien Nguyen, The Intern!

DSC_0586Vivien is probably asleep right now, but if she isn’t, then she’s most likely DIY-ing, day dreaming about color theory,  or wishing she was better at playing Overwatch.

She currently studies computer science at UC Berkeley, where she is also involved with Pioneers in Engineering, a campus organization that promotes STEM education primarily through hosting a robotics competition for Bay Area high schools. She has previously written for Berkeley’s arts and culture publication, BARE Magazine.

Her weaknesses include dresses and art supplies; she owns more of these than is reasonable for any one person. Vivien also doesn’t believe in things like “too many pizza rolls”.

You can see other things she’s done at her portfolio or her GitHub.

Drone Girl is not affiliated with any other organizations or news outlets.

18 thoughts on “Meet the team”

  1. Hey Drone Girl,
    I went to Mizzou too. But, probably much earlier than you. Mizzou was a blast and I was a bartender at Harpos, lived at the KA house, and played on the Rugby team. Anyway, you missed one type of drone user, the Adventurer. This is the person who wants to explore wild areas in more depth and see things that are too inaccessable for them to get to. This person would use a 4 wheeler to get to remote areas and then a drone to get to the even more remote areas. I don’t own one yet, but you have inspired me to get one. Then I am off to the west Texas areas to look down from high rocks using my drone. I would very much appreciate your input on the best models to do this with. I am not interested in anything that carries cargo, just a camera.

  2. Sally, I have an application for drones which could save lives. I would like to talk to you
    to see if you are interested in working on my project. I need a drone that can carry
    a two pound load. Please call me at 714-6245350.
    I explain more when I talk to you.
    thanks Rich

  3. I often come back here for info and for several reasons…

    * Good (no GREAT) help for me in staying current on this technology.

    * I have a bad memory and when about tho load my drone the little voice in my head says, “Now what did she say about….”

    * My father taught WASPs during WW2 when he was an Advanced Instruments Flight Instructor and when I was a young kid taking flying lessons with him (in a Beechcraft Twin Bonanza Excalibur) he said the “gals were among the best of the best of anyone he ever taught” and that sticks with me today, and one of the reasons when I (as an Old Drone Dude now) need info, I come to this source.

    1. I also have bad typing skills, please ignore the typos… Bullet point #1 should read … “when I’m about to load my drone in my pickup to go flying somewhere, a little voice in my head says…”

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Drone Girl

Reporting on drones, sometimes with drones