Lance T. DeSpain

Lance DeSpain

Executive Director

Lance T. DeSpain has served as the Foundation’s Executive Director since May, 2010.

As the Executive Director, DeSpain is charged with developing the vision, mission and goals of the Foundation, along with leading the Foundation’s efforts to drive growth in the six strategic markets laid out in the Foundation’s N.C. Defense Asset Inventory and Target Industry Cluster Analysis.

Prior to joining the Foundation, DeSpain served in a variety of ascending leadership and strategy roles for The Hartford Financial Services Group, including Chief of Staff to the CEO, Director of International business development and the head of M&A for a business unit. In his role, he served as Assistant Vice President: Sales and Marketing Strategy where he was responsible for the development of a comprehensive sales and marketing strategy for the distribution of $10B+ of property and casualty insurance products through 10,000+ agents and brokers. DeSpain also has experience in investment banking and as a strategy consultant for Booz & Co., a leading strategy consulting firm.

Mr. DeSpain also has significant military experience, having served in the United States Marine Corps, from 1995 through 1999. As Captain, he served as Camp Lejeune’s Finance and Budget Officer, and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for outstanding leadership and innovative business practices.

DeSpain earned a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management (2001); and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester (1995), where he was a four-year Naval ROTC scholar.

Lance DeSpain also serves on a variety of boards that directly impact the military and our local economy. These include North Carolina New Schools (STEM), Capital Workforce Committee, North Carolina Military Affairs Committee, and the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill.  

DeSpain resides in Raleigh, NC.