February 16, 2010
Contact: Cort Boulanger

DTI’s Executive Director Quenneville Shifts to Advisory Role

Led defense advocacy group’s New England-wide expansion, created Hanscom advisory board

Waltham – The Defense Technology Initiative (DTI) today announced its executive director, Brig. General Donald Quenneville, will transition as head of the region’s leading defense technology advocacy group to an advisory role with the organization.

The announcement was made today by DTI’s Chairman, Michael Lewis, vice president and general manager of Soldier and Vehicle Solutions, BAE Systems, who will oversee DTI’s ongoing initiatives as part of a reorganization that will include more direct operational involvement by DTI’s members. Lewis noted that DTI likely would not hire a new executive director and instead would rely on more direct involvement from members and work with consultants on a project basis.

“General Quenneville has taken the work of DTI to a whole new level,” said Lewis. “He had a strong vision for the regional growth of the organization and possessed the leadership skills and military clout to make that happen. He has been a tremendous asset for DTI – and will continue to be an asset in his new role with the organization.”

Quenneville managed DTI’s daily operations since January 2008 and led its transition from a Massachusetts-based organization to the regional voice of New England’s defense technology cluster. DTI is an affiliate organization of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and was previously known as the Massachusetts Defense Technology Initiative, which was formed in 2003 as a public-private partnership that successfully prevented the closure of key Massachusetts military facilities – specifically Hanscom Air Force Base and the Natick Army Soldier Systems Center.

Beginning in March 2008, DTI expanded beyond its BRAC-focused mission to achieve the more comprehensive and strategic objective of establishing New England as the definitive global leader in the defense technology industry. DTI’s mission is to bolster the competitiveness of the regional technology clusters, promote the expansion of new missions at New England military installations, enhance the image of the region’s defense technology cluster and generate growth opportunities for New England firms.

“It has certainly been a challenging – but rewarding – two years at DTI,” said Quenneville. “I would like to thank DTI’s members for the tremendous support and to the base leadership at Hanscom and Natick for embracing the opportunity to work more closely with the region’s defense technology cluster.”

Some of DTI’s accomplishments under Quenneville include:

  • Electronic Systems and Software Science and Technology Board – Created advisory board of military, industry and academic leaders to strengthen alliances between Hanscom and the area’s defense technology cluster;
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – Worked closely with military, industry and government leaders on workforce development initiatives that encourage “home-grown” talent to pursue STEM careers. This effort addresses the unique requirement for personnel working in the defense sector who must be able to qualify for a security clearance in addition to possessing STEM qualifications.
  • Cybersecurity Innovation and Expansion – Since his arrival at DTI, General Quenneville has focused significant attention to the Electronic Systems Center’s role as the cybersecurity acquisition agent for the Air Force. In his advisory role, he will continue to promote a robust collaboration between the military and its industry and academic partners to deliver innovative cybersecurity technologies.

Under Quenneville, DTI created strategic alliances with trade and economic development groups from other New England states, including the New Hampshire High Technology Council, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., TechMaine and the Connecticut Technology Council.

“I have tremendous respect for Gen. Quenneville and the leadership he has provided DTI.” said New Hampshire High Technology Council President Matt Pierson. “I look forward to continuing to work with him in support of DTI’s mission to support New England’s contributions to the nation’s defense mission.”

Christopher Anderson, president of the Mass. High Tech Council and DTI, expressed appreciation for Quenneville’s leadership in expanding the regional clout of the organization and creating deeper ties between the military bases and the defense technology cluster.

“Despite a historically difficult economic period, General Quenneville has laid the groundwork for continued growth and accomplishments in the future,” said Anderson. “We are pleased he will remain part of the DTI family to help in its mission to advance the region’s defense sector initiatives and pursue high-impact defense projects for Massachusetts and New England.”