Alfred Spector, PhD

1977 Hertz Fellow
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Alfred Spector is a Visiting Scholar at MIT and a Senior Advisor at Blackstone. His career has led him from innovation in large scale, networked computing systems to broad engineering and research leadership. Recently, he co-authored a textbook, “Data Science in Context: Foundations, Challenges, Opportunities.”

Previously, Spector was CTO and Head of Engineering at Two Sigma Investments. Before that, he spent eight years as VP of Research and Special Initiatives at Google, and he held various senior-level positions at IBM, including as global VP of Services and Software Research and global CTO of IBM’s Software Business. Earlier in his career, he founded Transarc Corporation, a pioneer in distributed transaction processing and wide-area file systems, and he was a tenured professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Spector is a Fellow of both the ACM and the IEEE. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Spector won the 2001 IEEE Kanai Award for Distributed Computing and the 2016 ACM Software Systems Award. In 2018-19, Spector lectured widely as a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar (for example, on the growing importance of computer science across all disciplines based on the evocative phrase, “CS+X”). He has been a member of the ACM Turing Award Committee and has done national service through chairing the NSF’s CISE Advisory Board and membership on the Army and now the Defense Science Boards. He has had extensive international experience due to broad responsibilities at IBM, Google, and Two Sigma. Spector obtained a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford and a B.A. in applied math from Harvard.

Hertz Foundation Role

Board of Directors

Graduate Studies

Stanford University
Computer Science
Multiprocessing Architectures for Local Computer Networks


2009, Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences
2016, ACM Software System Award, Association for Computing Machinery
2004, Member, National Academy of Engineering
2006, Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery

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The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation today announced the election of five new members to its board of directors: Cheri Ackerman, Co-Founder and CEO, Concerto Biosciences; Steven Lipner, Executive Director, SAFECode; Max Mankin, Co-Founder and CTO, Modern Hydrogen; Michael Schnall-Levin, CTO and Founding Scientist, 10x Genomics; and Alfred Spector, Visiting Scholar, MIT, and Senior Advisor, Blackstone.
Mar 8, 2024
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation announced the election of Alfred Spector, visiting scholar at MIT and a senior advisor at Blackstone, to its Board of Directors.
Dec 17, 2022
Hertz Fellow Alfred Spector shares how the freedom to innovate afforded by the Hertz Fellowship had an enormous impact on his own career and why he and his wife fund the Alfred Spector and Rhonda Kost Family Fellowship.