Dr. William A. LaPlante
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bill became Draper’s President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2020. He was most recently senior vice president and general manager at National Security, a sector of MITRE, which includes two federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs)—the National Security Engineering Center (NSEC) and the National Cybersecurity FFRDC. Over his career, he has 30 years of experience with organizations in defense technology and space, including the Department of the Air Force, in which he served as assistant secretary for acquisition. He has been a participant in numerous boards and commissions, including the Defense Science Board and the non-profit consortium Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT).
Officers of the Corporation
Alexa Z. Adams
Secretary and General Counsel
Alexa joined Draper in 2015 as Senior Corporate Counsel responsible for Government programs, and was promoted to General Counsel in 2018. From 2007 to 2013, Alexa rose from Manager to Senior Manager of International Trade Compliance at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. Earlier in her career, Alexa served as an attorney in government and private practice focusing on regulatory compliance matters and related litigation.
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Christine was named Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in August 2020 after serving as Draper’s Principal Director for Finance since 2017. Prior to joining Draper, Christine served as Director of Budget and Financial Analysis at MIT and as Vice President, Corporate Planning, at the Performance + Lifestyle Group, a publicly traded footwear business with $1 billion in sales. Previously, Christine worked in investment banking for 15 years, during which time she managed financial transactions for clients across a number of different industries.
Tara S. Clark
Vice President of Operations and Commercial Programs
Tara joined Draper in 2016 to lead the commercial program office, with a focus on bioprocessing solutions for precision medicine in addition to her Commercial role. Tara’s responsibilities expanded in 2021 to also include her overseeing Draper’s overall operations. Formerly, she was general manager of North American Clinical Operations for Miltenyi Biotec and Director of Marketing for Baxter Healthcare Corporation. She was elected as the first industry representative to the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Advisory Board, is an active Member of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASMBT) and was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as a “Woman to Watch in Science and Technology, 2017."
Neil J. Adams
Vice President, National Security and Space
During a 35-year career with Draper, Neil has served in numerous leadership roles of increasing responsibility throughout the organization. Before becoming vice president for NS&S, Neil was Principal Director for Space and Defense Programs. Previous positions include the Director for Algorithms and Software in Engineering, Corporate Director for Independent Research and Development managing Draper’s technology investment portfolio; and Associate Director for Guidance, Navigation and Control. An Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Neil holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati and Pennsylvania State University, respectively.
Anthony S. Kourepenis
Vice President, Strategic Systems
Tony joined Draper as a student in 1985 and became a staff engineer in 1988 in support of inertial instrument design, development and assessment. He assumed his present role as Vice President of Strategic Systems in 2021, overseeing Draper’s performance as prime contractor for the Trident II (D5) Ballistic Missile Guidance System, as well as Air Force, MDA and other Navy-related projects. Previous Engineering and Programs leadership roles at Draper include Principal Director of Strategic Systems, Principal Director of Engineering and Director of Internal Research and Development.
Richard J. Russell
Vice President for Engineering
Rich became Vice President of Engineering at Draper in 2018, with a focus on developing technology and business strategies to advance Draper capabilities and ensure performance. Rich has been at Draper for over 30 years in line management positions in Engineering and Program Management. He has worked in many domains, including undersea manned and unmanned vehicles and space craft, as well as tracking, tagging and locating devices for harsh environments.
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