After supporting a large defense contractor for nearly a decade, Chris Gordon was very satisfied with his employer, but felt called to entrepreneurship. This eventually led to the establishment of Mission Driven Research in 2011, followed by the award of the company’s first contract in November of 2012. Chris initially provided technical writing for proposals and technical support to the Targets and Countermeasures Program Office of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Since then, MDR has grown to support several directorates within MDA through a variety of contract vehicles, primarily employing engineers and software developers engaged in technical services, but also employees supporting programmatic disciplines. MDR is actively seeking to expand beyond MDA, into other federal agencies, as well as considering local government and commercial business opportunities.
President / CEO
Chris is the founder of MDR and provides strategic direction, primary customer interface, and company leadership. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace concentration from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MS in Systems Engineering with a focus on Engineering Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Chris has been working primarily in the missile defense community since 2003 and has periodically provided support to the defense intelligence agencies and NASA. His missile defense experience covers a variety of areas, including threat engineering, threat/target phenomenology, flight test design, real world event planning, and models and simulation.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Ben was a strong advocate for MDR prior to its inception, encouraging Chris to start the company built on the business concepts they discussed. While Ben helped part-time managing the business aspects of the start-up company, he now provides full oversight of all company operations, including the areas of contracts management, accounting/finance, human resources, and security. Ben holds a BS in Accounting from Auburn University and an MS in Management with a focus on Contracts Management and Acquisition from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)
Ryan was highly supportive of MDR's unique business model and became the “first follower" as the second full-time employee, joining with Chris to grow the business within MDA. Ryan leads the company’s effort in the areas of strategic planning, business development, and customer interface. Ryan holds a BS of Administrative Science in Finance from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and an MS of Systems Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Chris provides technical oversight of all MDR technical projects, to include technical responses to government solicitations and requests for information. He also leads internal development of commercial product pursuits. Chris holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama and an MS in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO)
Zach provides oversight of all philanthropic activities of MDR, ensuring the best use of resources to support programs of interest to MDR and its employees, and also he is the President of local non-profit Mission Driven Ministries (MDM). Due to MDR’s unique culture and focus on serving the community, it was a priority of the leadership to dedicate resources to the allocation of charitable giving and participation. Zach provides guidance to MDR leadership to maintain a focus on the principles of the company, helping to ensure a balance between reinvestment of profits into the company and charitable activities. Zach holds a BS of Christian Ministries from Leavell College.