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William Pitt

Deputy Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Associate Director of Conservation and Science, Smithsonian's National Zoo

As deputy director for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), Pitt administers and manages SCBI’s science centers and research programs. He is responsible for the financial and facility programs, the operations of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, and SCBI’s 3,200-acre conservation and research facility in Front Royal, Virginia. He oversees more than 220 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and students from universities around the world. Pitt works passionately to improve the conservation of endangered species through collaboration, education, and research.

As a researcher for USDA, Pitt spent more than a decade researching methods to reduce the effects of invasive vertebrates on native species, mediating human-wildlife interactions, and evaluating the effects of species management in Pacific islands ecosystems. He has worked extensively as a researcher for the USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center in Hawaii. Pitt has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and science-related publications.

Pitt received his bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife biology from the University of Minnesota. He also earned both a master’s of science in wildlife ecology and doctoral degree in ecology from Utah State University. He spent 24 years in the military, working as an environmental science officer for the United States Army Reserve in Hawaii, where he identified and assessed potential environmental and entomological hazards to humans.