Keith Pitts has served in numerous senior legislative, administrative, regulatory and public policy roles for more than two decades, and has been actively involved in shaping domestic and international policies regarding pesticides, organic agriculture, agricultural biotechnology, invasive species, climate change, specialty crops and food safety. He joined MBI in 2008, after working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a special assistant to deputy secretary Richard Rominger, and to Secretary Dan Glickman.
Pitts led several key agricultural, environmental and food safety initiatives for the USDA and the Clinton Administration. His career work has focused on issues such as the president’s Initiative to Ensure the Safety of Imported and Domestic Fruits and Vegetables, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Montreal Protocol and phase-out of methyl bromide, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, major reform of U.S. pesticide policy and agricultural biotechnology policy, the WTO and NAFTA, and several U.S. farm bills. He was also the USDA leader on developing and implementing the president’s Executive Order on Invasive Species and the president’s National Invasive Species Management Plan.
Most recently, Pitts was public policy director for the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, a nonpartisan research and policy organization based in Washington, DC, where he led all of the organization’s policy-related activities.
Pitts is on the Research Advisory Council for the Farmland Trust and is also a member of the National Academies of Science Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (The National Research Council) headquartered in Washington, DC.
Pitts holds a B.A. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.