Volansi has appointed Dr. Will Roper, the former assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, to its Board of Directors, where he will help drive the company’s strategy, operations and growth in defense markets, Volansi reported on Wednesday.
“Dr. Will Roper joins Volansi’s board with a reputation as a transformative, forward-looking leader,” said Volansi CEO and co-Founder Hannan Parvizian. “His deep expertise in emerging technologies and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in logistics operations will be instrumental in aiding Volansi’s mission to change the future of supply chain.
With the U.S. Air Force, Roper was the assistant secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, where he supervised an annual budget of $60 billion. In the role, he was responsible for all research and development, test, production, modernization and logistics efforts for the Air Force and Space Force. He also helped accelerate acquisition processes and develop disruptive innovative culture inside of government.
Roper spearheaded open defense market opportunities to commercial companies and private investors. He launched innovative initiatives, such as AFWERX and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) reform.
Additionally, Roper led Air Force-wide technology transformations for software development, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital engineering. He also initiated high tech programs for hypersonic weapons, autonomous drones and a militarized internet of things (IoT).
“Commercial technology companies like Volansi are leading a wave of disruptive innovation for defense missions,” said Dr. Roper. “Bringing speed and agility historically absent in government procurement, many vendors have early revenue-generating opportunities in national security as a path to commercial success,” Roper said.
Volansi has developed deep relationships with the Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD). The company has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) through the Department of the Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Center of Excellence innovation program.
“Volansi is uniquely positioned in the commercial UAV market because of their focus on cargo and logistics, both huge components of modern militaries. I am excited to help them think through opportunities to bring on-demand, life-saving capabilities to men and women in uniform,” Roper added.