Jonathan Pitts

Dr. Jonathan D. Pitts is an assistant head of the Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Division. In this role, Pitts is focused on developing and deploying architectures, technologies, and systems to improve homeland and global security. These efforts include research in air defense, climate change resiliency, and novel capabilities for law enforcement, intelligence, and special operations communities.

Pitts previously served as principal staff in the Biotechnology and Human Systems Division, where he developed new architectures to shape the Department of Defense's biomanufacturing strategy and helped expand the application of advanced remote sensing for biodiversity and climate monitoring measurements. 

From 2017 to 2021, Pitts led the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Systems Group. In this role, he led technology response efforts during annual U.S. hurricane seasons, including the rapid deployment of laser radar and novel power sensing technologies to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Carolinas. Pitts also developed substantial HADR programs with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Northern Command. Prior to that role, Pitts led the Chemical and Biological Defense Systems Group, where he developed, tested, and evaluated new technologies and systems to defeat threats posed by weapons of mass destruction.

Pitts also played a significant role in the Laboratory's COVID-19 technology response and has contributed to numerous Laboratory studies, task forces, and panels. Pitts is a mentor to many staff and an inclusive leader who was awarded a 2021 MIT Excellence Award for "Bringing out the Best."

Pitts received a BS degree in chemistry from University of Rhode Island and PhD degree in physical chemistry from Wesleyan University. He began his career with postdoctoral fellowships at the Center for Biomaterials at University of Connecticut Health Center and in the Physics Department at Dartmouth College, and has start-up experience at MediSpectra Inc.