Former Air Force procurement leader Roper named CEO of drone firm Volansi

Will Roper has previously advocated strongly for the adoption of new military technology by DOD.
Will Roper, Air Force
Will Roper holds an "Ask Me Anything" event online at the Pentagon in September 2020. (DoD / Lisa Ferdinando)

Former Air Force Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Will Roper, has been named CEO of a drone company that specializes in medium-sized autonomous drones.

Roper will lead Volansi, which makes autonomous drones that can carry medium- and heavy-sized payloads. While in the Department of Defense, he was one of the biggest public advocates for the adopting of military technology, often saying that it was critical for services to work more closely with the private sector.

“The company’s [vertical take-off and landing] designs are well-suited for a range of commercial and military applications,” Roper said in a release about his new job. “It felt like a natural fit for me to bring my industry knowledge as well as operations and logistics experience to help create disruptive solutions for the transportation of medium to heavy weight payloads. It’s an exciting opportunity.”

Roper had said autonomous drones would be a critical part of the Air Force’s future operations when he was leading the service’s procurement efforts. He spearheaded a drone program called “Skyborg” and others that incorporated the tech.


“Attracting Dr. Roper, first to our Board of Directors and now as CEO, will help us surpass even our most ambitious goals,” founding CEO Hannan Parvizian said in the release. Parvizian will move to be chief technology officer upon Roper’s joining.

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