Our combination of talent, motivation, knowledge, tools, facilities, and skill resident in our team, yields performance above the levels reached as individuals alone. It takes all of us to produce great achievements. Our team’s focus on excellence means we can give our customers practical and optimized solutions that balance multiple criteria and constraints.
Interim Chief Executive Officer &
Vice President of Finance & Administration
Don Maffei brings 25 years of corporate finance, operations, and management experience to the VT-ARC team. His extensive involvement with small businesses and startups has provided a wealth of experience in strategic planning and implementation of various control and reporting systems while maximizing efficient use of resources.
As the leader of the finance and administration team, Don provides strategic input on the direction of the corporation as well as day-to-day planning, implementation, and management of all financial, compliance, human resources, and information technology matters.
Before joining VT-ARC, Don provided CFO consulting services to various small government contractors, manufacturers and nonprofits. Previously, he was the CFO/COO and cofounder of a high-technology government contractor. Don began his career as a design engineer developing new defense electronics systems for a worldwide leader in radar development. Later, he was named the Director of Programs for a boutique defense contractor specializing in radar imagery.
Don holds an MBA degree in finance from the University of Maryland, an MS degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS degree in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.
Vice President of Operations & Development
Luke Sebby leads technical operations and business development for VT-ARC. He focuses on building meaningful relationships with corporate partners and clients, while growing applied research, technical services, and commercialization capabilities across the corporation.
Prior to VT-ARC, Luke worked in national security as a civil servant, as a defense contractor, and as a soldier on Army active duty. In the civil service, Luke supported strategic, operational, and tactical red teaming efforts as an Intelligence Specialist (0132) at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Army Directed Studies Office (ADSO). Prior to these positions, he worked as a defense contractor supporting the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Prior to civilian life, Luke served on Army active duty as a cryptologic, Arabic linguist. A combat veteran, he saw two tours in Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), including the 2003 invasion.
Luke holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a Certificate in Government Executive Leadership from Georgetown University, a Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies with a Minor in Business from Drexel University.
Jennifer Botchway, Ph.D.
Strategy, Policy & Planning Division Director
Dr. Jennifer Botchway is the Director of the Strategy, Policy, and Planning Division at the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC) and is responsible for delivering strategic solutions to VT-ARC clients through analysis of organizations’ missions, goals, operations, and culture. The Division has expertise across a vast portfolio of disciplines and assists the federal government with technology transfer and transition challenges, establishment of infrastructure, identification of process vulnerabilities, and analysis of future S&T developments.
Prior to joining VT-ARC, Jennifer was a civil servant in the federal government, performing project management roles in technical research, development, operations, and acquisitions. Because of her WMD-related expertise, Jennifer was selected to participate in the National Defense University’s Program for Emerging Leaders early in her career.
Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar, and earned her doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Ruth Kirschstein predoctoral fellow. She has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications and has presented her research at a variety of technical conferences and scientific forums.
Engineering, Test & Evaluation Division Director
Mr. DiFrancisco is an experienced Technology Executive and Engineering Manager with functional expertise in Communication Systems, RF Design, SATCOM, Cyber Technologies, IT Infrastructure Systems, and Networking. He has demonstrated experience in planning, analysis, design, procurement and management of RF Communications systems and networks for the DoD and the Intelligence Community.
Currently, Mike’s focus is on applied research and testing of wireless technologies, and on guiding test campaign management capabilities.
Prior to joining VT-ARC, Mr. DiFrancisco was a Principal in Booz Allen Hamilton’s Cyber Technology Center of Excellence focused on developing and managing Cyber Technology-related business with Intelligence Community customers. Earlier in his 25-year Booz Allen career, Mike focused on network & communications systems support to DoD customers, serving as Program Manager and Lead Systems Engineer on several large programs. Mr. DiFrancisco received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State in 1984 and a M.S. from George Washington University in 1991.
Information Sciences & Analytics Division Director
Ms. Cheng brings her management and computer science experience to lead the Information Sciences Team at the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC). With significant experience in machine learning, predictive analytics, data analysis, and data visualization, she has supported the defense sector in these areas for more than 23 years.
AT VT-ARC, Ms. Cheng is expanding the portfolio of capabilities across the predictive analytics domain, with an emphasis on delivering the right capability at the right technical level for customers’ needs. She is leading the team to deliver quality solutions and products customized to best fit the goals of the customer.
Ms. Cheng has a master of electrical and computer science (with thesis) from Carnegie Mellon University and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering (with distinction) from Cornell University. She has pioneered data analytical techniques in biosurveillance; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) health effects modeling; disease modeling; intelligence, and cognitive data analysis communities, and has published her work in peer-reviewed journals.
Matt Wolfe Ph.D.
Director of Commercialization
Dr. Matt Wolfe is the director of VT-ARC’s commercialization activities. In this position, Matt evaluates technology developed within the Virginia Tech enterprise and identifies those with promising commercial potential. Working with the Virginia Tech Center for Advancing Industry Partnerships (LINK) and Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties (VTIP), Matt develops business cases and strategies for bringing Virginia Tech technology-based products and services to market.
Before joining VT-ARC, Matt spent six years in the intelligence community as a civil servant performing S&T development, procurement, and technical operations activities. Prior to joining the federal government, Matt provided technical expertise in support of medical diagnostics, counter-WMD, and special operations forces technical programs at DARPA.
Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry (magna cum laude) from the College of Charleston, earned his doctorate in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Minnesota, and performed research as a post-doctoral and Lenfant Biomedical fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He has published and presented original research and has authored numerous white papers and proposals that have led to the development of several advanced technologies.
Board of Directors
Mr. Dwight Shelton – Chair of the Board
Vice President for Finance & Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Tom Conroy – Director
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. John Dooley – Board Secretary-Treasurer
Chief Executive Officer & Secretary Treasurer
Virginia Tech Foundation
Mr. Dewey Houck – Director
Vice President & Chief Data Analytics Officer (retired)
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Dr. Steve McKnight – Director
Vice President for the National Capital Region
Dr. Joe Meredith – Director
President & Chief Executive Officer
Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center
Dr. Scott Midkiff – Director
Vice President for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer
Dr. Sally C. Morton – Director
Dean, College of Science
Dr. Ray Smoot – Director
Chief Executive Officer (Retired)
Virginia Tech Foundation
Dr. Don Taylor – Director
Interim VP for Research and Innovation
Mr. Bill Varner – Director
President (Retired) - Mission, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions Group
ManTech International Corporation