Letter from the ceo

MITRE INNOVATION: OBJECTIVE INSIGHTS THAT ACCELERATE IMPACT

Jason Providakes portraitThe year 2020 tested MITRE’s agility, relevance, and character like no other year before it. Today, I write in gratitude: proud of our accomplishments, confident in our strategy, and, frankly, inspired by our extraordinary employees. We are beyond ready— the only sufficient word is eager—for whatever tomorrow brings as our next challenge, our “next normal.”

You will see across the pages of this report that our federal R&D center sponsors and direct-contract customers continued and, indeed, expanded tasking across the full breadth of our community of talent. I appreciate their trust, and I am well-pleased by the technical value we add to their missions. As a result, our financial condition is strong.

The real story of our accomplishments is the steadfastness, creativity, and determination of each of our exceptional employees and contractors. Although I cannot re-create for you the experience of witnessing uncountable acts of courage, selflessness, and mission-first mindset that arose across our company, at every level, at every juncture since the COVID-19 outbreak, I would like to briefly share key moments that inform my gratitude.

WE FULLY MOBILIZED AGAINST THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

  • MITRE moved at the speed of unfolding events to co-lead an unprecedented private sector collaboration to maximize the reach and success of our healthcare system
  • We helped create the complex, substantial infrastructure required to collect, analyze, and share pandemic data across 1,000 entities to anticipate disease spread, generate real-time guidance for effective treatments, and secure equipment and resources for case surge readiness.
  • MITRE established models for novel use cases, such as understanding infectious air flow patterns and optimizing the supply of constrained resources like ventilators, protective equipment, and even medical professionals.
  • We designed the COVID-19 patient data standard used to create federated analytics on the effectiveness of emerging therapeutic treatments.

MITRE has been a trusted partner and force multiplier for local, state, and national frontline efforts to secure public health since day one.

WE REIMAGINED OUR OPERATING MODEL

  • MITRE completed the final stages of our internal administrative business transformation, in the midst of pivoting the organization to full remote work and layering pandemic response atop our ongoing FFRDC programs.
  • Propelled by that momentum, we simplified our management model. We combined our portfolio and program divisions into one team to clarify accountability for outcomes.
  • We integrated our 173 independent technical centers into one new organization, MITRE Labs, and ensured teams and reporting lines created critical mass for our most advanced technical challenges.
  • MITRE introduced two new senior roles, chief medical officer and chief futurist.
  • We finalized the MITRE Accelerator to create generational impact by incubating and accelerating technology with the private sector through MITRE Engenuity—a trusted tech foundation for public good.
  • Recognizing the environmental need, MITRE also launched the Center for Data-Driven Policy to bring objective, evidence-based, nonpartisan insights for informed public policy.

In addition to these organization changes, all our leaders at every level of MITRE were coached and empowered to launch innovation, accelerate risk-taking and discovery, and fully leverage our technology capabilities.

WE LIVED OUR VALUES

  • In a dizzying year of perpetual change and continuous threat, our people responded to each new reality with care for one another, with speed and agility in their work, and with courage to face unprecedented personal, community, and professional challenges.
  • 85% of our employees worked remotely, prioritizing the well-being of the MITRE community to remain safe from COVID-19.
  • Our people transcended the virtual work environment to rethink collaboration and find ways to support one another, rejecting geographic distance as an obstacle.
  • Rather than seeking respite from the overwhelming volume of need, our people sought to do even more— from volunteering in our communities to expanding our work program to social, economic, climate, and health equity challenges.

We have extended, in every imaginable dimension, our commitment to our mission: truly pioneering together in pursuit of an ever better, ever safer future.

Beyond these key moments, our 2020 Annual Report features memorable snapshots of our regular work program. Our cross-cutting solutions span the whole-of-government. Since our inception, we have built a reputation as one of the most trusted advisers in the public and private sectors on issues of critical national importance. We regularly convene communities of problem-solvers from private industry, academia, and the federal government to address the nation’s and the world’s biggest challenges. We worked to secure the national election; shape understanding of the Great Power Competition; modernize nuclear command, control, and communications; engineer critical infrastructure resilience; strengthen veterans’ health systems; improve safety for space launch; advance cybersecurity; and mature 5G. We partnered throughout the year with Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the Mayo Clinic, among others. We exercised creative and responsible financial stewardship across the enterprise and prioritized programmatic value in each of the six federally funded research and development centers that we operate. MITRE exceeded our financial projections for the fiscal year, but more important, we seized every opportunity for significant impact on the most critical issues facing the American public.

MITRE’s 60+ year history abounds with annual evidence of our positive impact on complex technical challenges at a national scale. It remains as true as ever that our objectivity, mission focus, and deep technical capabilities are essential to our value and national impact. It is also true that we have perpetually adapted to our operating environment. As we look to the future, we anticipate increasingly complex technical problems, more complicated intersections between technology and policy, and higher stakes among global competitors. Our nation and the world will need MITRE more than ever. Uniquely structured as a not-for-profit, public interest organization, we will continue to convene and empower a diverse community of innovators, learners, knowledge-sharers, and risk-takers.

The experience of being part of this brilliant, motivated, diverse community, as we exist today and as we evolve for tomorrow, transcends the annual report format of project profiles and financial reports. If you remember one thing about 2020, remember that this CEO felt deeply honored to lead MITRE, where all our people have risen to the challenges of their time, and are leading the way to a safer world.

In service and gratitude,
Jason Providakes, Ph.D.
President and CEO

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