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News | June 27, 2024

MxD Announces New Board Member and Names New Board Leadership

By MxD

June 26, 2024 (CHICAGO) — MxD today announced the addition of Alexis Lasselle Ross, PhD, President of Apex Defense Strategies, LLC., to its board of directors. Apex Defense Strategies is a strategic advisory firm that guides companies navigating the defense market and the Department of Defense.  Ross founded the firm following a more than two-decade career as an executive in both the public and private sectors.  

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Dr. Ross to MxD’s Board of Directors,” said Berardino Baratta, CEO of MxD. “Her extensive experience and expertise, particularly her background with the Department of Defense and with Congress will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen our support of the defense industrial base by advancing technology innovation and adoption in U.S. manufacturing.”  

Ross is a trusted advisor and former senior Department of Defense (DOD) official with deep expertise in DOD acquisition, the defense industrial base, manufacturing, intellectual property, and planning and execution of large-scale change within complex organizations. Before opening her consulting practice serving traditional and non-traditional defense companies of various sizes, Ross performed strategic planning at General Dynamics, advising corporate leadership on managing critical issues and navigating government business. While in the Pentagon, Ross held several senior positions as the deputy chief of staff to the secretary of defense, the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and the deputy assistant secretary of the army for strategy and acquisition reform.  Prior to her appointment to the Department of Defense, Ross served as a professional staff member on the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and as a civil servant advising senior Army leadership in the Pentagon.  

“Joining MxD’s Board presents a tremendous opportunity to contribute to innovation in digitally-enabled manufacturing, not only within the defense industrial base but across American manufacturing,” said Alexis Ross, President of Apex Defense Strategies. “Embracing these technologies is critical to industrial preparedness, competitiveness, and ultimately our national security.”   

Ross is active in both the public policy and business communities by contributing her expertise on the Department of Defense’s acquisition system, the U.S. defense industrial base, and government reform. She is a member of the Army Science Board, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a senior fellow at the National Defense Industrial Association, and a member of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS).  

“Dr. Ross brings a wealth of experience and insight to the MxD Board, and we are thrilled to welcome her. Her passion for innovation and her strategic leadership will be invaluable as we continue to drive the future of manufacturing. We look forward to her contributions to our board, added Billy Bardin, MxD Board Chair and Global Climate Transition Director at DOW.  

Ross will join current board members Billy Bardin, Board Chair and Global Climate Transition Director, DOW; Katy George, Senior Partner and Chief People Officer, McKinsey & Company; Tony Hemmelgarn, President and CEO, Siemens Digital Industries Software; Mary Isbister, Owner, GenMet Corp.; John Kusnierek, Senior Vice President, LibertyWorks Research and Technology, Rolls-Royce; Gary L. Neidig, CEO of ITAMCO; Shirish Pareek, Chairman & CEO, Adaptec Solutions; Jocelyn Seng, retired Air Force Major General; Carroll Thomas, former Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and Jay Walsh, Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation, University of Illinois. 

About MxD 

MxD (Manufacturing x Digital) advances economic prosperity and national security by strengthening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness through technology innovation, workforce development, and cybersecurity preparedness. In partnership with the Department of Defense, we convene an ecosystem to solve critical manufacturing challenges by accelerating digital adoption, empowering a skilled workforce, and modernizing supply chains. MxD is also the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing as designated by DoD. Visit to learn more. 

Media Contacts: 
Mackie Hill, Marketing and Communications Manager, MxD