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Mark Adams

Alumni Leader Spotlight

MARK ADAMS

Chief Executive Officer, A-Squared Communications

I’m married to a wonderful wife. We have 5 children with the youngest a freshman at Virginia Tech! I love keeping active and enjoy the outdoors with hiking, tennis and skiing being among my passions. I have always had a tremendous curiosity on how things work and am driven to create solutions enabling communications. I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to found and grow two successful communications companies.

I co-Founded Iridium Satellite, purchasing the assets of the former Iridium LLC organization, and serving as Iridium Satellite’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). I was responsible for leading system technology issues and charting corporate strategy. I developed and introduced four new data services, multiple service offerings and new subscriber voice and data equipment. I worked closely with Iridium board members to develop new system capabilities, chart corporate direction and execute corporate strategy. Next, I founded NexGen Communications and served as Chief Executive Officer. I worked tirelessly to instill a culture of technology innovation, collaboration and customer mission focus leading to sustained rapid growth. NexGen designs, develops and manufactures enhanced wireless systems, servers and devices. NexGen architected and developed commercial and government focused services (MTM, streaming data and PTT) as well as the development of numerous end user devices and tactical communications/ISR/EW equipment. NexGen is now a wholly owned subsidiary within the Tactical Missions Division of L3Harris Technologies. I served as Vice President and General Manager of the Tactical Missions Division at L3Harris until my retirement in January 2022. My wife and I recently founded A-squared Communications to continue creating solutions to help our customers support their missions and return home safely.

 


How Virginia Tech equipped me for the 'real world'...
While my physics undergraduate degree helped me to appreciate fundamentals of how things work, it was my master's degree at Virginia Tech that enabled me to engineer solutions. These solutions are now used by millions of customers around the world for connectivity, for productivity and for safety.

Words of encouragement to a current Virginia Tech student...
Success is very strongly tied to initiative and persistence. Have confidence in yourself and don't give up.

A cause I'm most passionate about...
Diversity and inclusion is not a metric to be achieved, but a fundamental necessity to grow a healthy, successful and sustainable organization.

Last book I read...
Brief Answers To the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

A person who has inspired me...
I have been very fortunate to have worked with so many who have taught me so much. One particular standout would be Kelle Wendling at L3Harris. Her leadership inspired you to be your best.

This excites me the most about the future of my industry...
Effective communication helps to make the world a better place.

A key habit, practice, or skill, that's important for success in my industry...
Listen often and carefully and always seize the opportunity to learn.

Favorite way to end the day...
A quiet evening with my wife.


Media Contact:
Lindsey Haugh (540) 231-6959
lhaugh@vt.edu