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Joel Ruffin, Sr.

Speaker; Vice President & Senior Engineer at Goldman Sachs

Joel E. Ruffin, Sr. is a passionate executive with a wide range of experience in the areas of systems development, systems architecture, risk management, business resilience, and people management.

Currently, he is a Vice President and Senior Engineer within Goldman Sachs' Technology Division. Upon joining Goldman Sachs in 2000, he focused on infrastructure and application security risk management programs and initiatives. Over the course of his tenure with the firm, Joel has carried out a number of global information security risk management projects and initiatives. He served as primary technology application risk advisor and program lead for business units in the front, middle, and back offices.

Previously, Joel worked at the Stanford Research Institute (David Sarnoff Research Laboratory) in Princeton, NJ as the Manager of Enterprise Systems and Network Engineering. In this role, he transformed SRI's network and messaging infrastructure to support the company's advanced commercial and military research, as well as its incubator for new business ideas.

As part of Joel's commitment to the community and non-profit organizations, he provides pro-bono systems infrastructure and risk management advisory services and consulting to a variety of nonprofits.

Joel is currently an adjunct professor at Drexel University and Thomas Jefferson University, teaching Public Policy, Customer Relationship Management and developing courses in Management Information Systems and Business Strategy. He also serves on the Goodwin College Advisory Council.

His academic credentials include Master's degrees in Information and Knowledge Strategy and Cyber Security Management from Columbia University and New York University, respectively. Furthermore, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies/Computer Technology from Drexel University.

For Joel, mentorship and education are essential tools for unlocking creativity and self-expression. In 2010 and 2013, he was named New Jersey's Big Brother of the Year. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties. As a result of his work in the community and business, the State of New Jersey presented Joel with a Joint Legislative Resolution and a Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor.

Joel serves on the Heritage and Culture Society of Africa's (HACSA) Board of Trustees and was a guest panelist and speaker at the HACSA Summit Year of Return Celebration in Ghana. He was also a guest lecturer for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) sponsored by Drexel University in Philadelphia.

He is an avid bass player, motorcyclist, and virtual reality enthusiast.


  • M.S., Columbia University
  • M.S., New York University
  • B.S., Drexel University