Neya Systems Appoints David Barnhard as Chief Strategy Officer 

In new role, Barnhard will help to define and execute Neya’s growth initiatives 

PITTSBURGH – Jan. 31 – Neya Systems, a leading provider of autonomous systems, open architecture, and mission planning software, today announced that David Barnhard has been named the division’s chief strategy officer (CSO).  In this position, Barnhard will play a pivotal role in shaping and executing Neya’s strategic initiatives to drive growth and enhance the division’s overall business performance. 

With an extensive career spanning 20 years, Barnhard brings a wealth of expertise in strategic planning, business development, and leadership to Neya. As CSO, he will continue to collaborate closely with the leadership teams at both Neya and its parent company, Applied Research Associates (ARA), to develop and implement strategic plans that advance the company’s organizational objectives and technical vision. 

“We are excited to appoint David to this essential role,” said Kurt Bruck, division manager, Neya Systems. “His extensive expertise in unmanned systems has proven to be a valuable asset as Neya continues to evolve as a leader of advanced autonomy. As CSO, he will be instrumental in driving both Neya and ARA towards new levels of success.” 

Barnhard, who also serves as Neya’s associate division manager, joined Neya Systems in 2022 as the director of business development. Since then, he has been instrumental in driving growth in a number of key capability areas, including mission planning, operations, business execution, and horizontal integration between Neya and ARA. He has also established and managed key strategic relationships with the division’s government and industry customers.  

“Being granted the opportunity to serve as Neya’s CSO, I am truly inspired and energized by our collective passion for advancing the state of autonomous technologies. My role here will not only be about growth, but also nurturing our culture of passion for our work, freedom to pursue world-changing ideas and service to our customers and clients. At Neya and ARA, growth is not just a goal; it’s a constant pursuit to expand our nation’s capabilities and outperform even the wildest expectations for performance in the uncrewed systems industry. And we are just getting started,” said Barnhard. 

Barnhard earned a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and a master of science in artificial intelligence from the University of Georgia.  



Neya Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Applied Research Associates, is committed to advancing the field of unmanned systems through the development and integration of cutting-edge technologies and expertise in autonomy, computer vision, cybersecurity, and general unmanned systems development and deployment. Our team of experts is dedicated to creating innovative solutions that help our customers meet their mission goals. To learn more about Neya Systems, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.