Michael Schaffer, BSE

Director of Technology
UC San Francisco

Professional Profile
Key Areas: software development, technology strategy, system architecture

Michael Schaffer brings expertise in software development, systems architecture, and technical team management to advance the education and research goals of GBHI. With more than 36 years of software development, technology strategy, and management experience, Schaffer has led many diverse teams in the design and implementation of a wide variety of technology-based projects. As an independent consultant, he has advised many clients in system architecture and organizational design. He also performs technical due diligence for private equity and similar investment funds.

GBHI is being created, from the very start, as a globally focused institute. Using technology, we can not only train our Fellows and Scholars, but also leverage our materials and tools to teach other leaders, medical professionals, and family members impacted by dementia worldwide. This is a tremendous opportunity.

Schaffer serves as director of technology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. He leads a small team in the development of technology solutions that support the research and clinical care of the center, including a Salesforce-based call center, tools for automated neuroimaging processing and data visualization, and the development of tablet-based cognitive assessment tools. His team also manages a cloud infrastructure that provides high-performance storage and virtual workstations to support the computational needs of researchers.

From 2001 to 2009, Schaffer served as vice president of engineering and chief technology officer of Alibris, Inc., the leading independent marketplace for new and used media products. At Alibris, he was responsible for all software design and development activities, and the technical operations of a 24/7 e-commerce operation. He led multiple platform migration projects, including moves to a new accounting system, a new inventory system, and a new website application platform.

From 2007 to 2015, Schaffer taught the “Professional Skills Workshop” to second-year master’s students at University of California, Berkeley in the Graduate School of Information. This course taught project and people management, presentation and meeting facilitation skills, and the basics of business law and budgeting.

Bio: Michael Schaffer holds a BSE degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as vice president of engineering and chief technology officer of Alibris, Inc., and as an independent consultant for a number of private equity, venture capital, and other clients.