The highest technical recognition that MITRE bestows, MITRE Fellows are a select group of scientists, all preeminent in their fields, who lead critically important programs. Our fellows have a mandate and resources to develop and lead high-risk scientific or technical initiatives to address national- or global-scale problems.

They serve as subject matter experts and advisers to mission-critical programs, officers, and our board of trustees. They drive innovation in science and technology, accelerate solutions for the nation’s biggest challenges, and deliver on MITRE’s pioneering vision. The MITRE Fellows program has a history of achievement with lasting impact, including the Global Positioning System (GPS), systems engineering, and adaptive signal processing.

Current Fellows

Christopher A. Ford, Ph.D

Christopher Ford, a MITRE Fellow, leads MITRE’s Center for Strategic Competition. In this capacity, he directs MITRE’s effort to apply interdisciplinary, cross-functional, systems-informed analyses to national challenges of strategic competition and resilience. Ford is one of only 12 MITRE Fellows in the organization’s history, and the first with a policy-centric background.

Ford previously served as distinguished policy advisor at MITRE, after many years of government service including as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation while also fulfilling the responsibilities of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. Prior to the State Department, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation at the National Security Council. A former intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve and senior staffer on five different Senate committees, Ford has also served as U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation and as a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

A graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude), Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and the Yale Law School, Ford is currently a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, as well as a Distinguished Fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Scalia Law School. A prolific scholar, he is the author of the books “China Looks at the West: Identity, Global Ambitions, and the Future of Sino-American Relations’ (2015), “The Mind of Empire: China’s History and Modern Foreign Relations’(2010), and “The Admirals’ Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War” (2005), as well as a great many articles and monographs. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and the American Society of International Law.

Gerald Gilbert, Ph.D.

MITRE Fellow

Gerald Gilbert, a MITRE Fellow, is the principal investigator of MITRE’s Quantum Information Science Research Project.

A theoretical physicist and quantum information scientist, Gilbert joined MITRE in 1996 with the long-term aspiration of developing a quantum computer, a computer so powerful it can solve problems not otherwise possible to solve. Gilbert founded MITRE’s Quantum Information Science Program, established MITRE’s Princeton University site, and initiated the company’s first quantum laboratory there.

The Quantum Information Research Project, one of the largest research projects MITRE has ever taken on, is a partnership of leading physics research groups at MITRE, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Sandia Laboratories. As principal investigator, Gilbert leads the team that aims to build the world’s first fully scalable, universal photonic quantum computer distributed in a cloud comprised of a small quantum network. They are designing and building programmable nano-photonic quantum processors that will be the engines of a scalable universal quantum computer.

In addition to quantum information science, Gilbert has specialized in the study of string theory—an attempt to explain and provide a mathematically consistent formulation of all the fundamental forces of nature in a way that includes the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

He earned his doctorate in theoretical physics under Nobel Laureate Professor Steven Weinberg at the University of Texas. After earning his Ph.D., Gilbert was awarded the Weingart Prize Research Fellowship in Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, after which he was awarded a University Research Fellowship at Cambridge University (studying and conducting research under Professor Stephen Hawking). He worked as a researcher at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Gilbert has served on the U.S. Defense Science Board and the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as an expert on quantum information science and has participated in many expert scientific panels. He received the Best Student Prize and the Patrick M.S. Blackett Award, both from the NATO International School of Subnuclear Physics in Erice, Italy.

He is co-inventor on five U.S. patents in Quantum Information Science and is a sought-after speaker in the field. At MITRE he has received a number of awards, including the Program Innovation Award, the MITRE Best Paper Award, and three Director's Awards for Technical Excellence.

Marc Salit, Ph.D.

MITRE Fellow

Marc Salit, a MITRE Fellow, is an expert in developing standards for biology, chemistry, and physics, and has been working on standards in synthetic biology for more than a decade. He leads the development of the MITRE’s Open BioFoundry, which provides tools and applied capabilities in engineering biological systems, including creating standards for synthetic biology to improve collaboration and innovation.

As a subject matter expert and advisor to mission critical programs and MITRE leadership, Salit drives innovation in science and technology to accelerate solutions for the nation’s biggest challenges and deliver on our pioneering vision.

He believes that the most powerful work is done in community and partnership. He has been involved in establishing and leading consortia in laboratory automation and genomics. Most recently, he founded and fostered the Coronavirus Standards Working Group, a cross-sector consortium to coordinate development of infrastructure for a reliable and robust SARS-CoV-2 testing enterprise.

Salit co-founded and directed the Joint Initiative for Metrology in Biology (JIMB), a partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Stanford University, homed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory. In that role, he focused on innovation and development of measurement science, standards, and tools for biomedicine and synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a vital technology with broad implications across a variety of critical areas including national security, healthcare, and climate.

Prior to his role at JIMB, Salit spent 28 years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). During his time at NIST he developed new approaches in metrology in chemistry and led the development of a new Genome-Scale Measurements Group.

Salit holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Skidmore College and a doctorate in chemistry from Arizona State University.

John W. Betz, Ph.D.

MITRE Fellow Emeritus

John Betz has contributed to modernizing the Global Positioning System (GPS), devising new signal modulations used on GPS and other satellite-based navigation systems while also developing new theory to describe receiver performance. He served as a leader and technical contributor for the design of the military's GPS M-code signal for satellite navigation.

Dr. Betz also helped design the newest GPS signal, the L1C signal. He has been a key contributor to ongoing technical discussions between the United States and other countries developing their own satellite-based navigation systems, working to improve mutual compatibility and interoperability.

He has served as chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and serves on the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board. Among other awards and recognitions, Betz is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation and a Fellow of IEEE and has been inducted into the GPS Hall of Fame.

Garry Jacyna, Ph.D.

MITRE Fellow Emeritus

Garry Jacyna (pronounced Jace-na) is a recognized expert in signal processing. His specialties include analytical-based performance studies for DoD and DHS programs. He has developed cutting-edge algorithms to real-world problems, including an acoustic reconstruction tool used in response to the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk disaster, and multi-target sonar detection, tracking, and classification algorithms.

Jacyna has also designed complexity-based analysis tools for Marine Corps agent-based simulation models and distributed detection, classification, and tracking algorithms for netted sensor systems.He is currently working closely with DHS in developing system-level decision and performance prediction support tools.

He is also developing interchangeable image fusion algorithms for stand-off detection and classification of threats from improvised explosive devices. Jacyna's technical and analytic expertise is applied to a number of government-classified programs, as well as select research programs at MITRE.

Past Fellows

H. William Neugent

Cybersecurity and mission assurance strategies

James H. Babcock Intelligence-related programs
Ronald L. Fante Adaptive signal processing for radar and communications
Edward L. Lafferty Artificial intelligence and computer science research
Dr. Louis Metzger

Systems engineering, command and control, and communications theory

Paul B. Schneck High performance computing and user control of digital data
Richard J. Sylvester Software engineering and acquisition