For Immediate Release
September 22, 2011

Contact: Cort Boulanger (339) 222-2442

Former UMASS President to Lead New England Defense Group with Textron Systems, BAE Systems Leaders

Waltham, MA – The Defense Technology Initiative (DTI), which works to make New England more competitive for defense firms, research universities and military installations, today named former University of Massachusetts President Jack Wilson as chairman. Dr. Wilson will be joined on the DTI leadership team by Fred Strader, president and CEO of Textron Systems Corp. in Wilmington, MA, and Lisa Aucoin, director of solider solutions at BAE Systems in Hudson, NH.

“DTI is very pleased to have such a dynamic and experienced leadership team as we develop regional strategies to strengthen the innovation assets that distinguish the New England defense technology economy,” said DTI President Christopher Anderson. “Jack’s highly successful career and effective partnerships with us on numerous initiatives during his tenure at UMASS will be a huge asset to DTI. In addition, through Fred and Lisa we can tap the real world expertise of two respected industry leaders.”

The leadership team will provide strategy guidance for DTI’s top programs and initiatives like the Innovation Access Network (IAN), a Web-based network connecting innovative technology providers with public and private sector technology seekers to accelerate the innovation economy across New England and beyond. IAN, which is operated by DTI’s parent organization, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, has a strong focus on defense technology and includes the Lockheed Martin, Natick Soldier Systems Center, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology as members.

“With the nation’s fiscal and economic realities posing potential challenges to the region’s defense and research sectors, DTI’s work is now more important than ever,” said Dr. Wilson. “I look forward to working with Fred, Lisa, Chris and the entire team to advance an agenda to create an even more dynamic defense technology cluster and enhance the region’s contribution to the mission of the U.S. military.”

DTI is currently developing a regional strategy to strengthen New England’s continued role in the nation’s defense and security in light of long-term pressure to reduce federal spending and in the event of a future BRAC and beyond. Earlier this year, DTI began work with members of the New England Congressional delegation at a meeting convened by Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown to begin organizing a common regional defense technology strategy.

About the DTI Leadership Team

Dr. Wilson is President Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts and University Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies and Innovation. In July, Dr. Wilson began serving the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate as its interim President and CEO. Dr. Wilson served as President of the UMASS from 2003 to 2011 and during that period the University became a national research and licensing income leader. Wilson previously served on DTI’s advisory board and was active with the group during the 2005 BRAC. He was awarded an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal by the U.S. Army for service to the Army Education program.

Prior to becoming Textron’s CEO in 2010, Fred Strader served as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He has nearly three decades of experience in the defense technology industry. Strader earned a master of business administration degree in finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and served on active duty for four years with the U.S. Army, followed by 22 years as a reserve officer in the Army Acquisition Corps.

Lisa Aucoin has more than 25 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry. Her roles have ranged from research and development, high volume manufacturing, supply chain and new business capture. At BAE, she is responsible for strategy, product development and program execution for a vast array of imaging products for the dismounted war fighter, including programs like Thermal Weapon Sites and Laser Target Locator Module. She currently serves on the board of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and theNatick Science & Technology Advisory Board.

In addition, Christopher Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, serves as DTI’s president and Paul Gauron, a partner at Goodwin Procter, is the board’s secretary.

About the Defense Technology Initiative

Founded in 2003, DTI was originally created by the Massachusetts High Technology Council to protect Massachusetts’s military technology bases through the 2005 federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Following that successful and nationally-recognized effort, DTI evolved into an economic development and sector networking organization that represents the region’s leading defense technology firms, research labs, universities and military bases.