Retired Admiral Bill Lescher, former Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Joins Red Cell Partners and DEFCON AI
Red Cell Partners (Red Cell), an incubation firm building technology-focused companies that are bringing revolutionary advancements to market within the national security and healthcare arenas, announced that Admiral (Retired) William K. Lescher, the 41st Vice Chief of Naval Operations, has joined as a Senior Advisor. In addition, Lescher has joined DEFCON AI (DEFCON), a Red Cell portfolio company building next-generation tools for the modern military mobility environment, as a Strategic Advisor.
“The depth of experience and insight that Bill brings to Red Cell Partners and DEFCON AI cannot be overstated,” said Grant Verstandig, Red Cell Founder & CEO and DEFCON Co-Founder and Executive Chairman. “Throughout his remarkable tenure with the Navy, Bill spearheaded initiatives that brought continuous innovation and a ‘Get Real, Get Better’ culture to the Navy that proved transformative. He has a profound understanding of what we are trying to accomplish at both Red Cell and DEFCON, which will prove invaluable as we move forward with our mission to build powerful tools and solutions to address our Nation’s most pressing problems.”
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“As a modeling, simulation, and analysis (MS&A) company, DEFCON is developing technologies designed to streamline America’s military responses to supply chain and mobility network disruptions caused by contested scenarios – from natural disasters to adversary attacks. The tools the team is developing are in service of our goal to build a new generation of reliable decision-support tools and analytics that assist the US military, advance national security, and protect the American people,” said Yisroel Brumer, Co-Founder and CEO of DEFCON and Red Cell President. “Admiral Lescher has a proven appreciation and respect for innovation, having helped the Navy to become a more learning-oriented institution while greatly scaling the use of powerful technologies including machine learning and artificial intelligence to measurably improve a wide range of force generation and supply chain outcomes. There is no doubt that we will benefit greatly from Admiral Lescher’s insight and counsel.”
In addition to serving as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Lescher previously held the position Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources. Under his leadership, the Navy significantly improved readiness, force generation, and institutional learning outcomes with initiatives like “Get Real, Get Better,” the integration of more effective tools, problem-solving and collaboration approaches, and mindset to broadly elevate enterprise performance. He has commanded at the Squadron, Wing, and Strike Group levels, including Expeditionary Strike Group 5 and Task Forces 51/59 in Bahrain, leading multiple Amphibious Ready Groups and Marine Expeditionary Units. Lescher also led the Seahawk developmental test team as an engineering test pilot, where he launched the first guided missiles from a Navy helicopter. Lescher holds systems and aeronautical engineering degrees from the Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School, respectively, and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
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“I very much appreciate, and strongly align with, the values and mission focus of Red Cell and DEFCON,” Lescher said. “Both companies are using technology and innovation in exciting ways to address extraordinarily consequential opportunities across healthcare and defense. The combination of that mission focus and the exceptional teams they have assembled make Red Cell and DEFCON compelling places to join to achieve great outcomes.
“As someone who has worked for years to help advance a culture of innovation and continuous learning in the Navy, I understand the proven power of tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning to transform performance in areas that have long been a source of frustration. I also understand the importance of holding ourselves accountable for making a measurable difference to our warfighters and to the American people, and see the same perspective in the teams at Red Cell and DEFCON,” Lescher said. “I look forward to contributing to these organizations in meaningful ways and working together to achieve great outcomes, not only for Red Cell and DEFCON, but for our Nation.”
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