Richard Hollis Helms

Founder and Chief Executive

"In my career, I was never satisfied that those responsible for delivering technology to me really understood my need, for surely if they had, they would have worked harder to deliver what seemed to me to be the obvious. I remember being told, 'If you don’t see it on the shelf, don’t ask for it.'

That guidance resulted in an erroneous assessment that all needs were being met because no one was asking for anything other than what was on the shelf. Soon, nothing worthwhile was on the shelf. But while the first principal of technology development must be that it is essential to have the right people, the second is insuring institutional things do not prevent the right technologists from achieving their goals. I am fortunate in that many of those things that prevented technology from reaching me no longer apply. Ntrepid benefits from over $36 million in investments in new technology, people and insights. No one is telling us to live with what is on the shelf. Unfortunately, now I have few excuses for not delivering technology that can make a difference.

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Richard Helms is the founder and Chief Executive of Ntrepid Corporation. After a nearly 30-year career in the Central Intelligence Agency, he founded Abraxas Corporation. It was sold 10 years later but retained 145 engineers and product development lines going back years. Ntrepid Corporation was then formed to solve extremely difficult product challenges. Those product lines are now known as Ion, Passages, Nfusion, and Timestream, ... and MetalGear. Just kidding. We have never had a MetalGear product, and suggestions that we have are the result of a misreading and an inaccurate description of contracted work.

In Nov. 2006, Richard won Ernst & Young’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award in Emerging Technology. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he holds a master’s degree in national security policy and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economic development policy. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Dean of the School of International Service. An avid aviator, Richard has built two experimental aircraft.