Don Maffei, the vice president of finance and administration at the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, will assume the role of the corporation’s interim president and chief executive officer on July 15. 

Maffei takes on this role as Sanjay Raman, who has served as VT-ARC’s president and chief executive officer since 2016, is stepping down. Raman, a professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

“Don has been an outstanding member of the VT-ARC leadership team from the beginning of his tenure, bringing decades of experience in corporate finance and operations experience that have been a tremendous asset to the organization,” said G. Don Taylor, interim vice president for research and innovation. “I look forward to Don’s work continuing to strengthen VT-ARC’s management and portfolio and deepening its connections to Virginia Tech’s broader research enterprise.”

The Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation is a nonprofit research-and-development organization that leverages the university’s vibrant research ecosystem to offer tailored data analytics and technology solutions to a range of industry and government clients. Their robust technology portfolio encompasses research areas including cyber, autonomous systems, data science, wireless communications, and advanced manufacturing, with an eye towards applications that will serve national security.  

The corporation’s emphasis on translational and applied research, research commercialization, and technical services extends the university’s impact and provides a vital conduit for discovery and innovation to reach the national and global community.  

As the leader of the finance and administration team, Maffei has contributed strategic input on the organization’s direction as well as deft management of day-to-day planning and implementation of initiatives in areas including finance, compliance, human resources and information technology.  

As president and chief executive officer, Maffei will guide the corporation’s strategic growth and development, working closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and reporting to the VT-ARC board of directors.

“This is an exciting time to be part of Virginia Tech’s research enterprise,” Maffei said. “The whole ecosystem is expanding, driven by nodes of rapid innovation in critical technological areas and growing synergy between the Blacksburg campus and expanding initiatives in the National Capital Region. This multiplies the potential impact of the work that we do at VT-ARC to shepherd new technology into the government and commercial sector, and I’m honored to help lead the organization during this critical period.”

Maffei began his career designing defense electronics, specializing in radar technology. After a stint as director of programs for a boutique defense contractor he cofounded his own government contracting firm, for which he also served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. That served as a transition to a subsequent career in finance, providing financial consulting services to a range of contractors, manufacturers, and nonprofits before joining VT-ARC in its senior financial role in 2017. 

Maffei holds a master of business administration in finance from the University of Maryland, a master of science in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Written by Eleanor Nelsen