Alfred Spector, PhD, is Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives at Google, which he joined in 2007. He is responsible for research across Google and also a growing collection of special initiatives, such as open source, health, university relations and more. Recently he has assumed the executive engineering leadership for google.org, an effort that uses Google’s strengths in information and technology to build products and advocate for policies that address global challenges. He speaks widely on research and innovation, and spends much time helping Google connect to the university research community.
Previously, Spector was vice president of strategy and technology IBM’s Software Business. Prior to that, he was vice president of services and software research across IBM. He was also founder and CEO of Transarc Corporation, a pioneer in distributed transaction processing and wide area file systems, and was an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in highly reliable, highly scalable distributed computing.
Spector received his PhD in computer science from Stanford and a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Harvard. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the IEEE and the ACM. He is also the recipient of the 2001 IEEE Computer Society’s Tsutomu Kanai Award for work in scalable architectures and distributed systems.