Coalition Directors

Director of Finance - Matthew Whitman

Matthew B. Whitman is a Finance and Business Professional with 20 years of experience managing multi-billion dollar programs totaling between $30-40 Billion of spending with agencies such as the National Reconnaissance Office, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Mr. Whitman has spent his career advising senior leadership, matching resources with requirements and conducting business in innovative ways that deliver costs within forecasts. He has also developed an extensive portfolio of analytical models and statistical tools to strengthen logical arguments for sound continued support. He received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from George Mason University in 1997, graduating “with distinction” and receiving the “Excellence in Finance Award.” He currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with his wife and two children.

Director of Forensics - David Kovar

David Kovar is the President and founder of Kovar & Associates. In that role Mr. Kovar leads the development of URSA – Unmanned & Robotics Systems Analysis – a suite of tools designed to collect, integrate, analyze, and present UAV related data for many purposes including fleet management, criminal investigations, failure analysis, and predictive analysis. He also leads the firm’s consulting practice which addresses UAV cyber security and UAV threat management. Mr. Kovar founded the practice of UAV forensics in 2015 and is one of the leading practitioners in the world. He has worked in digital forensics and cyber security since the mid 90’s and, prior to founding his own company, led EY’s U.S. incident response program. Mr. Kovar earned a BA from Dartmouth in Computer Science and will receive an MA from the Fletcher School at Tufts in International Affairs in 2018. His Master’s thesis is entitled “Defending Against UAVs Operated by Non-State Actors”. Mr. Kovar is a rated pilot, is the Advocacy Director for the National Association of Search and Rescue where he writes UAV policy papers and develops presentations on UAVs in SAR, and is working on SAR UAV standards for ASTM and other organizations.  

Director of Members - Patrick Egan

Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for a OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial sRPAS prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he served as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association). Past collaborations within the framework of the standards groups; ASTM F-38 and RTCA SC-203 (lightly regulated sub-group), and was also a full member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking committee (Order 1110.150)—He has also served on the ICC (International Coordination Council) which input to the EUROCAE wg-73, and was the past President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International).

Director of Operations - Tony Davila

LTC (Ret.) Tony Davila is a former Army Product Manager for Medium Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System with experiences in acquisition, testing, research and development, and operational integration of multiple unmanned systems in Department of Defense to include manned and unmanned teaming (MUM-T). In over 30 years of Army service, he has accrued multitude of experiences in Special and Conventional Operations in Intelligence, Maneuver Warfare, Psychological Operations, Information Operations, Electronic Warfare, Technical Operations, Aviation, Cyber and Space. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from Christopher Newport University at Newport News, Virginia in 1991 and his M.S. in Systems Management from Florida Institute of Technology at Melbourne, Florida in 1999. Currently, he is the founder and President of Knight Technical Solutions, LLC, a service disabled veteran owned small business, located at Huntsville, Alabama.   

Directory of Safety – Archie Stafford

Archie Stafford is the sUAS Education Specialist for the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and has spent most of his life operating sUAS. Growing up he was heavily involved in Radio Control and it is still his primary passion. Archie flies competitively and is a former precision aerobatics national champion. Currently, his focus is on high performance turbine powered jets. However, over the last 18 years he has been able to turn that passion in to a career. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Computer Science, he quickly transitioned in to the world of tactical UAS for the department of defense. He has worked on all aspects of unmanned systems, from design, all the way to serving as Chief Test Pilot on multiple programs. Archie completed the US Navy Test Pilot School unmanned program in 2012 and currently has over 13,000 hours operating more than 50 different tactical unmanned systems, with well over 100,000 hours if you include his recreational flying hours. He has operated unmanned systems all over the world, including stints in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Currently, Archie is working as a subject matter expert for the US Marine Corp for their Counter UAS and small tactical operations. He is a US Navy certified NATOPS instructor on multiple platforms. Archie has assisted in the development of multiple UAS programs for the AMA, and currently serves as the National Director for the UAS4STEM high school and collegiate competitions. He has also setup and maintains the AMA's Learning Management System which is heavily utilized by the Civil Air Patrol and other educational partners for the AMA. He is a FAA Part 107 certificate holder, training both public safety and military operators on both safe operations and tactical operations of unmanned systems.   

Director of Standards - Richard Lusk

Rick Lusk is the Founder and Director of the UAS Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. With more than 30 years of professional experience, he is an expert in designing and planning integrated technology platforms and managing their creation and transformation into comprehensive, authoritative, and intuitive decision support systems. Before joining the lab, Lusk designed and developed multiple complex strategic technology, operation, and marketing plans for multinational businesses and U.S. government agencies. These include designing the first global client-server network for imagery analysis, managing the first implementation of international VOIP for telecommunications, and identifying and linking the technologies and businesses that built WebTV. His career has ranged from working at the MIT Media Lab, to providing business solutions to customers such as Jack Nicklaus Golf, Gary Player and Bankrate, to representing United States interests abroad. A former Marine Corps officer, Lusk holds a BS in communications from the University of Idaho and an MBA from Boston University. He is a graduate of the National Defense University Advanced Management Program and is a federally certified enterprise architect and chief information officer. Additionally, he holds certificates in International Management from Sanyo Leadership School in Japan and in International Terrorism Studies from the University of St. Andrews.  

Director of Tactics - Brandon Sasnett

Brandon Sasnett is currently the Director of Threat Analysis for a strategic red teaming consultancy group.  Brandon is considered a leading subject matter expert in terrorist and criminal use of commercial technology, specifically unmanned systems.  Brandon has over 15 years in Human Intelligence (HUMINT), counter insurgency, counter IED, targeting, and weapons technical intelligence.  Brandon has been the primary technical specialist and resource pilot for critical CUAS test events for the Rapid Equipping Force, US Marine Corps, US Army Special Operations, JIDO, and other Non-Governmental Agencies.  He was selected by USSOUTHCOM and DoS to provide critical threat UAS and CUAS training to the Brazilian military and law enforcement leading up the 2016 Olympics. 

Director of Technologies - Jeff Parisse

In 1996, Jeff Parisse co-founded kVA Effects®, a high voltage special effects company that uses Tesla coils to make electrical arcs for entertainment. kVA Effects® has installations in major science museums throughout the World and is credited with the first commercial plasma ball machine (Winterhur Switzerland), the first high voltage flying rig (Mercedes Benz) and the largest Tesla coils on permanent display in the World (Tampa Bay Lightning a NHL hockey team). Jeff provides on-camera high voltage expertise for major broadcast and cable networks and was the principal expert on the Modern Marvels special on life of Nikola Tesla. His work on Fear Factor Live earned the 2005 T.E.A. Award for best themed attraction for Universal Studios Hollywood. In 2002, Jeff began an autonomous flight and long range telemetry R&D project that combined his knowledge of robotics, embedded systems and RFI mitigation techniques. The project created breakthroughs in ultra-light civilian UAV technologies that were later used for low altitude pollen research by a major university. While at kVA Effects®, Jeff Parisse continued to develop specialized aircraft for special effects teams, professional cinematographers and research agencies. He has more than 1000hrs. as a remote pilot and flies fixed wing and multirotor aircraft in the >10lb. weight class. In 2013, Jeff joined Monarch Inc., an unmanned aircraft manufacturing firm in Ridgecrest California where he currently serves as their Director of Robotics. Jeff's responsibilities include developing working systems for geomapping and spectral crop analysis, promoting positive dialogue with elected representatives and industry leaders and bringing advanced technology to purchasers of aerial robotic systems.