LLR Partners, continuing its strategy of adding senior government officials to its staff, has hired former Assistant Secretary of State, the Honorable Dr. John Hillen, as an operating partner. This hiring follows the November 2013 addition of Ira (Gus) Hunt, former Chief Technology Officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, as an operating partner. In his new role at LLR, Dr. Hillen will evaluate investment opportunities in the Security, Defense & Government Services sectors, as well as support the leadership and strategy development of LLR’s existing portfolio companies.
Dr. Hillen was most recently President and CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions, formerly Global Defense Technology & Systems. At Sotera he led the company’s diversification and acquisition strategy, followed by its IPO in 2009, and ultimately took the company private in 2012. Dr. Hillen also served as the 2012-2013 Chairman of the Professional Services Council, the government contracting industry’s largest trade organization.
“John is a thought leader within the government contracting industry and a deeply experienced executive. He has executed the same growth strategies and led businesses through the same challenges that our companies face today,” said Dave Stienes, partner at LLR. “John built a sub-$100 million business into a $300 million business, while dramatically diversifying the company and placing it in areas of importance within its government client community. The depth of his operational and industry experience will make John an invaluable advisor, board member and mentor to our portfolio company CEOs.”
From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Hillen served as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, responsible for coordinating America’s diplomatic strategy with its military operations. He also oversaw the State Department’s policies for international security, security assistance, military operations, weapons removal and abatement and defense trade.
“I am excited for the opportunity to work with LLR and help more government contractors grow by drawing from my own lessons learned as a CEO and federal official,” said Dr. Hillen. “There are few private equity firms as knowledgeable about this sector and as committed to putting capital towards its growth. Teaming up with LLR makes the most of my experiences and industry network.”
Prior to his business career, Dr. Hillen worked as a military policy expert and served for 12 years as an Army officer. He is the author or editor of several books on international security and has been published in dozens of leading journals and newspapers, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. A veteran of several think tanks including the Council on Foreign Relations, he was for many years a contributing editor at National Review and an ABC News commentator. He currently serves on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, the federal advisory committee supporting the head of the U.S. Navy.
Dr. Hillen graduated from Duke University, holds a Master’s Degree from King’s College London, a doctorate from Oxford and received his MBA from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell.
LLR Partners invests in technology and service businesses that have annual revenues of $25 million to $250 million. The firm’s target companies include those that serve commercial and government clients in the physical and cyber security markets, as well as government contractors to the US homeland security, defense, intelligence and healthcare agencies. LLR is currently investing out of its fourth fund with $930 million of capital commitments. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, PA and Arlington, VA (www.llrpartners.com).
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