Anita K. Jones

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Anita K. Jones
Anita K. Jones (1993)
Born (1942-03-10) March 10, 1942 (age 81)
Alma mater- Rice University (A.B. in Mathematics, 1964)
- University of Texas, Austin (M.A. in English Literature, 1968)
- Carnegie Mellon University (Ph.D. in Computer Science, 1973)
Occupation(s)computer scientist, professor, government official
Known forDirector of Defense Research and Engineering of the U.S. Department of Defense
SpouseWilliam Wulf

Anita Katherine[1] Jones (born March 10, 1942)[2] is an American computer scientist and former U.S. government official. She was Director, Defense Research and Engineering from 1993[3] to 1997.

Jones was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (1994) for contributions to the theory and implementation of software systems and for extensive public service.

Early life[edit]

Jones' father, a petroleum engineer, encouraged her to pursue a career that would make a difference in the world.[4] He taught her to play chess, helped her on geometry problems, and on weekends took her and her younger brother fishing for catfish, red snapper, and trout on Galveston Bay. Jones' mother, who had trained as a ballerina and danced in several Hollywood films, taught her daughter a love of painting.[5]

Born in Fort Worth, Texas[2] and raised in Houston,[5] Anita graduated as valedictorian of her high school class in 1960.


Jones received an A.B. from Rice University in Mathematics in 1964, a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1968, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1973. While at Carnegie Mellon, she met her future husband, William A. Wulf.[4]


Jones remained at Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor, with promotion to associate professor in 1978. With William A. Wulf, her husband, Jones was a founder and vice president of Tartan Laboratories, a compiler technology company, in 1981. The company was later sold to Texas Instruments.[4]

She joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1989, but took leave in June 1993 to become the Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense,[3] a position in which she was responsible for the management of the science and technology program. Her responsibilities included the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and oversight of the Department of Defense laboratories, as well as being the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for defense-related scientific and technical matters. At the time, it was the highest technical job ever held by a woman in the Department of Defense.[4] She returned to the University of Virginia in 1997. In the field of computer software systems and cyber-security, Dr. Jones has published more than 40 technical articles and two books.[6]

Among other things, she gave the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) the task of “assuring interoperability and reusability of defense models and simulations"[7] which led to DMSO formulating a vision for modeling and simulation and establishing a modeling and simulation masterplan, including the High Level Architecture.

In 2010 she officially retired but remains involved in the university and continues to mentor young women in technical fields.[4]

She is on the Board of Trustees for In-Q-Tel which "is the not-for-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to national security agencies."[8]

Board memberships[edit]

Since 2004, Jones has been a member of the MIT Corporation. From 1988 to 1992, she was a trustee of the MITRE Corporation. She is a member of

She has been a member of the Computing Community Consortium "since its inception."[12]


Jones received the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association of Women in Computing in 2004. She is also the recipient of the Computing Research Association's Service Award,[13] the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service. The U.S. Navy has named a seamount in the North Pacific Ocean (51° 25’ N and 159° 10’ W) for her.

In 2007 she was the recipient of the IEEE Founders Medal.[14]

Jones was also awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)'s 2012 Philip Hauge Abelson award.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ginger Pinholster (February 12, 2013). "Computer Scientist Anita Jones Receives Philip Hauge Abelson award".
  2. ^ a b "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 103d Congress: Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate". Vol. 103, no. 414. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1994. pp. 834–835. ISBN 978-0160436116.
  3. ^ a b "Dr. Anita K. Jones". (National Academy of Engineering).
  4. ^ a b c d e "Computer Science Legend Anita Jones Retires". 28 June 2010.
  5. ^ a b Schrof, Joannie M., "Keeping Up With Anita Jones" Archived 2016-10-27 at the Wayback Machine, PRISM, University of Virginia, February 1, 1999
  6. ^ "BBN Technologies Appoints Dr. Anita K. Jones to Board of Directors" (Press release).
  7. ^ Kuhl, Frederick; Weatherly, Richard; Dahmann, Judith (October 18, 1999). Creating Computer Simulation Systems: An Introduction to the High Level Architecture (1 ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0130225118.
  8. ^ "Our History".
  9. ^ (since 1994) "1997 Winner: Dr. Anita K. Jones, University of Virginia".
  10. ^ This citation lists here attending their May 4, 2000 meeting. "358th meeting, National Science Board". May 4, 2000.
  11. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2021-04-21.
  12. ^ "CCC Council Member Anita Jones Receives AAAS' Highest Honor". February 14, 2013.
  13. ^ "1997 Winner: Dr. Anita K. Jones, University of Virginia". Computing Research Association. 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  14. ^ "IEEE - IEEE Founders Medal Recipients". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).