Joseph Markowitz of Harper’s Ferry, WV and Great Falls, VA died at WVU Medical Center on October 24, 2019. He was born June 30, 1938 to Mae and Harry Markowitz.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Joe received a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in Acoustic Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Joe started his career at Bolt Beranek and Newman as a Group Manager when the original ARPANET was being developed in the late ‘60s.
In 1975, Joe joined the CIA as a research manager in the Office of Research. In this role, Joe helped to modernize the Agency’s information infrastructure, leveraging ongoing advancements in technology to assist the Agency. His work as a strong proponent of technology led him to create the first open source network at the CIA, developing the Agency’s first “black box” switches, which allowed users to easily work with different computers on different networks. Joe served as the first Director of the Community Open Source Program Office (COSPO), whose mission is to facilitate more effective use of open sources in the intelligence community.
He was a founding member of the FBI Director’s Advisory Board under Director Robert Mueller. In that capacity he made unique and invaluable contributions to modernizing the FBI to reflect evolving technology standards.
Joe was also a member of the Defense Science Board for a quarter century. In that capacity, Joe made numerous contributions in areas such as information technology, networking, intelligence, cyber and weapons of mass destruction.
In addition to work in the public and private sector, Joe also held teaching positions at Northeastern University, and after retirement, taught adult education classes at Shepard University.
As the father of two boys, Joe was active in the Boy Scouts; he enjoyed writing, reading and anything related to technology. He was a creative problem-solver who could always recommend a clever solution and he was an excellent story teller who traveled the globe extensively.
Joe is survived by Nancy Markowitz, his wife of 53 years, his son and daughter-in-law Jeremy and Eva Markowitz of Sterling, VA and his son Jonathan Markowitz of Herndon, VA.