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Goodwin alumnus and Goldman Sachs executive to speak at commencement

Students in cap and gown

May 7, 2018

Giving the keynote address at Goodwin's 2018 commencement ceremony will be Joel Ruffin, a Goodwin alumnus, celebrated technology executive and high-impact volunteer. 

Joel has been a member of the Drexel community since 1983 when he first started his undergraduate studies. He paused his school work to start a new family and to pursue a successful career in enterprise systems and risk management. He returned as a part-time student in Goodwin College of Professional Studies in 2003. Joel completed his Bachelor of Science in General Studies with a concentration in Computer Science in 2005.

Professionally, Joel has three decades of extensive experience in enterprise risk management, systems engineering, business resilience and leadership. His first job in the field was with Drexel University as a student worker, helping distribute the then revolutionary Macintosh 128K to all Drexel freshmen. Soon he was hired full-time with a co-op employer, Database Securities leading the development and commercialization of large-scale surveillance and access control systems. Joel went on to work with the Standard Research Institute (David Sarnoff Research Laboratory) as manager of enterprise systems and network engineering where he received numerous awards for innovation, creativity and team excellence.

In 2000, Joel joined Goldman Sachs and is currently a Vice President of Engineering in Technology Management and Strategy. Joel believes in the liberating power of education and its ability to unleash creativity, innovation and value creation across organizations, communities, and individuals. Joel holds a Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy from Columbia University and a Master of Science in Cyber Security Management from New York University—both of which he completed in 2016.

Along with his many professional and academic accolades, Joel was named 2010 Big Brother of the Year for the state of New Jersey. He actively leads and participates in local and global initiatives that focus on community, youth and foster care empowerment.