Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper Joins Red Cell Partners as National Security Practice Chairman
Red Cell Partners (“Red Cell”), an incubation and venture capital firm that backs, builds, and scales early-stage technology-led companies in healthcare and national security, announced the appointment of the Honorable Dr. Mark T. Esper, the 27th Secretary of Defense, as a Partner and Chairman of the National Security Practice.
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“His expertise across the spectrum of disruptive technologies is unparalleled and will be key to Red Cell’s ongoing ability to identify, create, and scale innovative and sustainable businesses in both the public and private sectors.”
Dr. Esper will lead Red Cell’s activities investing in and building new businesses in the areas of defense, cyber security, international affairs, space, and aerospace, and will eventually expand on the firm’s relationships within the government and national security sectors.
“Dr. Esper is an accomplished and visionary leader whose appointment comes at a pivotal point in Red Cell’s evolution,” said Red Cell Founding Partner and CEO Grant Verstandig. “His expertise across the spectrum of disruptive technologies is unparalleled and will be key to Red Cell’s ongoing ability to identify, create, and scale innovative and sustainable businesses in both the public and private sectors.”
Dr. Esper will join Red Cell’s multi-talented team of entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, and operators who, united by a shared sense of duty and deep belief in the power of innovation, are focused on building solutions to some of the greatest challenges faced on the battlefield of the 21st century. In his newly created role, Dr. Esper will seek to establish more agile, efficient, and meaningful ways to spur engagement between non-traditional innovators and the Defense Department.
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“I am excited by the opportunity to join Red Cell’s exceptional team and to build new businesses capable of bringing revolutionary advancements to market in the nation’s most vital sectors,” Dr. Esper said. “I believe the key to accelerating and expanding the U.S. military’s overmatch in the years ahead is through the rapid, sustained, and aggressive modernization of the joint force. Grant and the team at Red Cell are applying the mission-focused vision and energy that is needed to bring new innovations and cutting-edge technologies to the national security sector in record time.”
Mr. Verstandig added, “In his role at Red Cell, Dr. Esper will play a leading part in shaping the future of national security. I have every confidence that he and his team will be instrumental in writing a new playbook for how today’s military arms, equips, and prepares to accomplish its mission during crises.”
Dr. Esper serves on the Board of Directors of Epirus, Inc., an artificial intelligence-enabled power management company focused on directed energy defense applications. Epirus was co-founded by Verstandig and is a part of the Red Cell portfolio of companies.
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