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Darryl Wilkerson, PhD

Partner | COO

Dr. Wilkerson is a career defense and intelligence executive with over 40 years of operations and leadership experience in the national security domain. This includes more than 15 years as a member of Acorn Growth Companies‘ leadership team.

Prior to his appointment as a partner, chief operating officer, and member of the capital management team in 2020, he served with distinction as the President and CEO of Acorn Growth Companies’ Integrated Defense Group. His previous professional experience includes honorable service in the United States Air Force, and senior leadership roles within the national security portfolios of Raytheon E-Systems, Teledyne Brown Engineering, and L-3 Communications.

Dr. Wilkerson serves as a board director for several non-profit and for-profit organizations. His professional affiliations include membership in the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation, Air Force Association, Association of the U.S. Army, National Defense Industrial Association, National Contract Management Association, University of Alabama National Alumni Association, and he is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

He earned his doctorate from the Cook School of Business at Columbia International University. He is a certified social-behavioral-educational researcher, specializing in leadership, organizational behavior, and change management. His published research includes topics on private equity led small business interventions, merger & acquisition strategies, stewardship, agency theory, resource dependence theory, governance, organizational culture and strategy alignment, the behavioral dynamics of organizational change, executive development, and post-acquisition organizational integration and performance.