Dr. Will Roper served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics. In this role, Dr. Roper oversaw Air Force research, development, and acquisition activities and managed an annual budget of more than $60 billion. Defense News described Dr. Roper as “a champion of emerging technologies'' who “led efforts to bring commercial technologies into the military through the AFWERX and SpaceWERX initiatives.” The article also reported that he “oversaw the development and first flight of a future fighter demonstrator and advocated for the Advanced Battle Management System as an ‘internet of things’ to connect military platforms.” Dr. Roper left the Air Force in January 2021.
In 2021, Dr. Roper briefly worked at Pallas Advisors as a part-time senior counselor. According to its website, Pallas Advisors is a consulting firm “specializing in national security, defense, and innovation” that utilizes “decades of experience at senior levels of the public and private sector” to help its clients “capture new business.” According to his Linkedin profile, Dr. Roper also served on the boards of defense suppliers Ursa Major Technologies and Vita Inclinata Technologies.
In March 2021, Dr. Roper joined the board of directors of drone services company Volansi where, according to Volansi’s press announcement, he will “focus on the company’s strategy, operations, and growth in defense markets.” The announcement noted Dr. Roper’s “deep expertise in emerging technologies and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).” It also mentioned two major deals Volansi had won with the Air Force in 2020: a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop its VOLY M20 VTOL drone and a contract worth potentially $400 million to help design new drones as part of the Air Force’s Skyborg Vanguard Program. In July 2021, Dr. Roper became chief executive officer of Volansi.
“Attracting Dr. Roper, first to our Board of Directors and now as CEO, will help us surpass even our most ambitious goals,” said Volansi founding CEO Hannan Parvizian.
Attracting Dr. Roper, first to our Board of Directors and now as CEO, will help us surpass even our most ambitious goals.”
- Hannan Parvizian, founding CEO of Volansi
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics,