About Animate Cyber

Animate is the culmination of over 20 years of research, development, testing and successful integration into cyber training environments. Its highly experienced executive team averages 25 years of proven development, engineering and architect experience.

Executive Team

Chad Hughes

Chad Hughes

Founder & Chief Executive Officer


  • 20+ Years AI/ML Architect and Cyber Range Experience
  • Inventor, Software Developer, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran (Tank Commander 1990-2000)
  • Passion for Dynamic Control Systems, AI Driven Robot Vision, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Neural Networks (particularly LLMs), Propositional Reasoning with Expert Systems and Patents in Stochastic Automata
  • Founder and President of EvenSoft, Specializing in Cybersecurity, Mobile, Single Board, Cloud, and Internet of Things
  • Former Executive Director of Technology for ManTech, Consulting for DoD Cyber Range and Co-Founding the DoD Cybersecurity Range
  • Founded Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Cybersecurity R&D Group, Serving as Chief Scientist
  • Patents in Traffic Gen, Stim/Sim, Hypervisor and Deception Technologies
Ernest McCaleb

Ernest McCaleb

Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer


  • 20+ Years Cyber Range Experience
  • Cybersecurity Architect, Developer, and Industry Thought Leader, Contributing Valuable Insights to Industry on Cyber Workforce Development and Cyber Architecture
  • Passion for Pushing Boundaries of Cybersecurity in Rapidly Evolving Digital Landscape, Supporting Renowned Platforms Across Cybersecurity Industry
  • Architect of Cloud-Native Cyber Training Environments for Over 250 National and International Financial Institutions, Including Industry Giants Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank
  • Architect of the Royal Saudi Air Force Cyber Training Environment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Original Chief Architect of DISA/DoD Cyber Security Range and the USMC Cyber Security Range
  • Consultant to Google, Assisting Google’s Development & Implementation of Sovereign Cloud
Damon Phillips

Damon Phillips

Chief Growth Officer

    • 20+ Years Supporting Federal Market, Recognized for Driving Sustainable Growth with Deep Domain Expertise
    • Chief Growth Officer for Animate, Leading Strategic Growth Initiatives and Business Development
    • Senior Vice President of Business Development and Alliances for Eliassen Group, a Global Professional Services Firm, Leading Business Development and Capture
    • Strategic Growth Consultant to Riphean Investments, a Private Equity Firm Supporting National Security, Supporting Growth Initiatives for Portfolio Companies and Future Endeavors
    • 17 Year Tenure at Apex Systems, Leading Advanced Programs and Strategic Alliance Formation
    • Former Vice President for Zachary Piper Solutions, Leading National Team of Business Development and Delivery Managers Supporting Small, Medium, and Large System Integrators

    Development Team

    Tido Ciarovino

    Deployment/Platform Engineer

    • 27 Years Big Data and Software Development Experience
    • B.S. Computer Engineering

    Trinidad Estrada

    Release Engineering, CI/CD & Framework Services Manager


    • 14 Years Software Engineering Experience
    • B.S. Computer Science

    Ben Hildebrand

    AI/ML Architect


    • 15 Years in AI/Computational Science
    • PhD in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Certifications in Data Science and ML

    Key Clients

    Keysight Technologies

    Learn More

    Reach out to a member of our team to learn more about Animate or schedule a demonstration.

    910 Charles Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401