New Director of Partnerships Appointed for Haslam Aerospace & Defense

August 20, 2020

Byron Risner has been named director of Aerospace and Defense Partnerships for the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In his new position, Risner will be responsible for establishing and maintaining partnerships with both commercial and DoD organizations for graduate and executive education (GEE). Additionally, he will serve as a lecturer in Aerospace & Defense programming.

Ben Skipper, executive director of aerospace & defense programs, says Risner’s experience is a significant advantage for GEE in seeking new partnerships.

“Byron’s extensive background in the aerospace and defense industry will help guide us in building strong partnerships across the industry to better serve our students and our clients,” Skipper said.

Risner comes to UT from Leonardo Electronics US, a U.S. subsidiary of the Leonardo Company located in Arlington, Virginia. As director of business development, Risner led the company in conducting DoD and commercial avionics sales and support in the U.S. Before that, he served as senior analyst and site lead for Alion Science and Technology. Risner retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of colonel after a 26-year career.

Risner holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in human resource management systems from Chapman University, a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College and an Aerospace & Defense MBA from UT.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist,