Board of Directors

Herbert Lee Buchanan III

Chairman of the Board
Dr. Buchanan became the HYPRES executive chairman in 2019. His distinguished career includes service as United States Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisitions) from 1998 to 2001. In that esteemed position, he was responsible for all procurement of defense systems for both the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Before assuming his role at HYPRES, Dr. Buchanan was a strategic advisor and venture partner at Paladin Capital Group, where his areas of responsibility included biotechnology and cyberdefense. He has also worked in various advisor roles with Technical Communities, PA Consulting Group (US), TMD Microwave and drone delivery start-up Flytrex in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Buchanan has held board positions with Lucent Government Systems, CloudShield Cyber Security Technologies, OmniCompete and other companies. An expert in transitioning technologies into public- and private-sector products, Dr. Buchanan managed multibillion-dollar programs while serving as deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Agency from 1985 through 1998. He became a senior physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1979, and joined Titan Corp. as division manager three years later. Dr. Buchanan received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University. His physics doctorate is from the University of California.

Mr. John Levy

Mr. Levy has worked at the intersection of technology and finance for more than 35 years and since 2010 has served as the Chairman of BioLite, a distributed energy company. In 2013, Mr. Levy joined the board of goTenna, a peer to peer networking company. In 2011, he was named Chairman of HYPRES, a digital RF and high speed and quantum computing company, and in 2012 Mr. Levy helped create and became the founding Chairman of PlusN,  a carrier aggregation software company that enables mobile operators’ to expand network capacity.  Also in 2012, Mr. Levy joined the investment committee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation overseeing a $450m endowment. Mr. Levy was a founding partner from 2005-2010 of L Capital Partners’ where Mr. Levy led investments in the technology sector and served on seven technology company boards including WiSpry, OnPATH Technologies, HiGTek, Simparel, Evogen, Peek and Peek India. From 2001-2005, Mr. Levy was a partner in the Shalom Equity Fund, a seed stage tech fund based in the US and Israel. Prior to 2000, Mr. Levy served as founding CEO of ePlanet, a computer vision company funded by Interval Research and Intel Corp. During the mid-1990′s, Mr. Levy worked at Interval Research Corporation, a Palo Alto based development lab sponsored by Paul Allen. Before that, he was a general partner of Ariel Securities Corp., an NASD-licensed broker/dealer specializing in venture capital and media-based investments. Since 1997, Mr. Levy has served as a board member of the Cathay Investment Fund, a private equity fund with over $1 Billion invested in Chinese companies.  He also served on the boards of VisionSense, Adjungo Networks, and Ovex and was an adviser to Tseng Labs and Advanced Medical Imaging. Mr. Levy has served on the board of Bend the Arc since 1989 and was chairman of the organization from 2000-2006 overseeing the merger of two non-profit organizations. Mr. Levy received an A.B. from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Richard E. Hitt

Mr. Hitt joined HYPRES in January 2003 as vice president and general manager of government products and systems. He was appointed President and CEO in July 2005. Prior to that, he served at Raytheon where he was director of Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) programs and director of business development for radios and terminals. During his career, he has held senior leadership positions with EG&G of Boston and Mnemonics, Inc., of Florida. His career in the Air Force included extensive time as a senior program manager in the advanced technology headquarters of the Air Force program, where he was involved in bringing new space command, control, and communications technologies to tactical combat units. His commercial experience has focused primarily on bringing new technologies to mainstream command, control, and communications product lines and programs. Mr. Hitt earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Chapman University, California, and a graduate degree in systems engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He is also a graduate of the Department of Defense Senior Program Manager Course, Defense Systems Management College, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, and the Senior Leadership Course at the University of Chicago, School of Business.

Mr. Franklin Pitcher (“Pitch”) Johnson

Mr. Johnson was co-founder in 1962 of Draper and Johnson Investment Company, a venture capital company, and became an independent venture capitalist in 1965 as the founder of Asset Management Company, with which he is still associated. Asset Management Company has made over 250 venture investments during its more than 46 years of operation. These have included Applied Bio Systems, Conductus, Hybritech, Octel, Qume, Red Brick Systems, Remedy, Sierra Semiconductor, Tandem Computers, Teradyne, and Verity. He has served on boards of many public companies and is a director of several private companies, including HYPRES. He is also a past director of the National Venture Capital Association, a past-president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, and was a trustee of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District for 12 years. He also taught a class in entrepreneurship and venture capital at Stanford Business School for 12 years and is still active on the faculty there. He has served as an advisor to several eastern European countries since 1990 in the area of entrepreneurship and privatization and has participated in the founding of three venture capital companies in the region. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dr. James H. Smith, Jr.

James H. Smith, Ph.D., has spent the past decade investing in technology companies for the U.S. Intelligence Community’s strategic investment fund, IQT, and continues today as a consultant for venture capital and private equity. During that time, Dr. Smith lead 20 investments in the semiconductor, power, RF/software defined radio, SATCOM, and security sectors resulting in numerous acquisitions and IPOs. In addition to HYPRES, he also serves on the board of PlusN (LTE cellular carrier aggregation). He also has served on the board of Silicon Sense (semiconductor wafers). He previously held VP, engineering and director of technology roles with Fortune 500 companies including L-3 Communications, Honeywell and AlliedSignal. He co-founded Transparent Networks, a Silicon Valley-based developer of switches for all optical networks. Early in his career, Dr. Smith developed a number of MEMS-based technologies and components at Sandia National Laboratories. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering from Pennsylvania State University and holds 11 patents. Dr. Smith also earned an MBA and is a senior member of the IEEE.

Mr. Warren P. Williamson, III

Mr. Williamson III is the retired Chairman of the Board of WKBN Broadcasting Corp. and of Sygnet Communications, Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio. Over a more than 40 year period, he worked in various capacities in the family owned radio and television enterprise and was responsible for its entry into the cellular telephone business in 1985. He was active in community affairs in Youngstown including serving as Chairman of the Board of the Mahoning National Bank. He was also active in broadcast industry affairs serving as Chairman of MSTV, an association representing U.S. television station operators. He served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advanced Television Test Center, which was instrumental in development of the North American technical standards for the broadcasting of high definition television. In the U.S. Air Force research and development command during the 1950’s he served as a project engineer where he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for his work in electronic countermeasures. Mr. Williamson earned Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan and is a Registered Professional Engineer.