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5 Influential Tech Leaders for Defense and Warfare Strategies

Warfare strategies have a long history spanning centuries as militaries have continuously adapted and refined their approaches. Military arms prioritize the development of technologies and solutions that enhance the capabilities of their armed forces, bolster their positions on the battlefield, facilitate mission success, and minimize casualties.

Today, traditional warfare methods have undergone significant modernization to align with the current requirements of soldiers and defense endeavors. Leaders committed to supporting warfighters in land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace are responsible for these strategies.

Below are influential tech leaders that have been influential in defense and warfare strategies and their plans for 2023 and beyond.

Note: The following list features influential tech leaders selected based on a comprehensive evaluation of their accomplishments, including their strategic vision, demonstrated impact on the industry, innovative contributions, and leadership prowess. However, this is in no way an exhaustive list. The industry is filled with talented professionals making significant contributions, warranting close attention for their achievements and potential impact.


Matt Tarascio, Senior Vice President of AI at Booz Allen Hamilton

Matt Tarascio, Senior Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Booz Allen Hamilton; influential tech leaders
Photo of Matt Tarascio on LinkedIn


Matthew “Matt” Tarascio joined Booz Allen Hamilton as the Senior Vice President of Artificial Intelligence and Analytics in June 2021. He has a wealth of expertise in data analytics, intelligence technologies, AI initiatives, and strategy management, experiences he acquired from his previous roles at Lockheed Martin and its subsidiary Sikorsky.

In his current role, Tarascio leads the artificial intelligence initiatives tailored to the Department of Defense (DoD). He oversees Booz Allen Hamilton’s efforts to advance the integration and utilization of AI, analytics, and data science capabilities with public and private sector missions.

In a GovConWire interview in December 2022, Tarascio discussed the Pentagon’s establishment of the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) and its role in supporting various DoD missions.

Tarascio underscored that Booz Allen Hamilton is dedicated to developing sophisticated AI solutions to help the DoD tackle national and international security threats and receive real-time information on potential enemy attacks from all domains. Additionally, Tarascio emphasized that AI-inspired cyber capabilities with humans involved significantly impact the present and future of defense strategies that foster a safer and more liveable world.


John Albers, President and CEO of Albers Aerospace

John Albers, President and CEO of Albers Aerospace; influential tech leaders
Photo of John Albers from Official Albers Aerospace Website


Since 2014, John Albers has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Albers Aerospace, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business providing a broad range of products and solutions that support warfighter campaigns, bolster defense, and other operations designed to serve the nation.

A former test pilot of the US Navy, Albers applies his nearly 30 years of experience in aviation and engineering to spearhead the development of products and services for Albers Aerospace’s government and commercial customers. In his current role, Albers leads the company’s initiatives to drive growth, serve the nation, and maintain client partnerships.

In a recent interview, President and CEO John Albers shared his insights on the rising trends in the defense landscape and government contracting industry. Albers underscored that Albers Aerospace continues to apply its core values of innovation, stewardship, dedication, and excellence in developing new technologies and making impactful decisions that support all warfighters.


Barry Duplantis, Vice President and General Manager of the Public Sector at Mattermost

Barry Duplantis, Vice President and General Manager of the Public Sector at Mattermost; influential tech leaders
Photo of Barry Duplantis on LinkedIn


Barry Duplantis has been a key Mattermost executive leadership team member since January 2021. He first served as the open-source platform company’s Vice President of Customer and Success Support before becoming Vice President and General Manager of the Public Sector.

Duplantis has extensive experience in customer support, logistics, crisis action planning, and conflict resolution. He leverages his expertise in molding Mattermost’s services and offerings to address modern conflicts and warfare operations.

Going into 2023, Duplantis highlighted that the US armed forces should adopt a unified collaboration platform to maintain their conflict preparedness. For Duplantis, such a platform helps soldiers and military staff to streamline data, communication, and technology tools in a secure, foolproof, and user-friendly way. He added that this platform equips current and future warfighters for battle with the latest technologies and military strategies.


Jo Decker, Vice President of Strategy and Growth for the Integrated Defense Solutions Sector at BAE Systems

Jo Decker, VP of Strategy and Growth for the Integrated Defense Solutions Sector at BAE Systems
Photo of Jo Decker on LinkedIn


Jo Decker has been part of BAE Systems’ leadership team since January 2019, with her first position as Vice President of the Business Winning Strategy segment. She is a retired Navy senior executive with extensive experience in engineering, business development, and growth strategy.

As the Vice President of Strategy and Growth for BAE Systems’ Integrated Defense Solutions sector, Decker oversees the development of all systems engineering, integration strategies, and customer growth operations for federal and US armed forces customers.

Since the Integrated Defense Solutions sector is under BAE System’s Intelligence and Security (I&S) business arm, Decker is involved in other efforts to accelerate warfighter preparedness and bolster relationships with other intelligence and security organizations.

One of the projects implemented under her tenure is the new Mission Advantage technology partner program. This effort aims to strengthen partnerships between BAE Systems and program members to offer disruptive, advanced mission engineering and dual-use commercial technologies that bolster national security missions. The Mission Advance program also allows members to respond faster to changing customer demands concerning complex problems.


Jeff Lessner, Vice President of Defense and Intelligence Systems at Hughes Network Systems

Jeff Lessner, VP of Defense and Intelligence Systems at Hughes Network Systems
Photo of Jeff Lessner on LinkedIn


Jeff Lessner has over 30 years of experience in sales, engineering leadership, executive management, business development, capture management, and project management. He played seminal roles in developing and deploying solutions supporting the DoD’s critical missions, leading multi-million dollar profits and loss (P&L), life cycle management, C4ISR, cloud, big data analytics, and storage-intensive portfolios.

As the Vice President of the Defense and Intelligence Systems business segment, Lessner oversees programmatic leadership business development sales operations and low-Earth, medium-Earth, and geostationary communication satellites for various tactical networks.

For 2023 and beyond, Lessner leverages his position and wealth of experience in helping the US Army develop the Unified Network Plan, a zero-trust architecture that enables military personnel to log in on any device, wherever they are secure. Subsequently, the zero-trust platform enables enhanced mobility, efficient cloud data migration, and modernized warfighter preparedness and mission capabilities.

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