Stan Rifkin


SERC Director of Technical Programs

Research Role: Researcher

Email Address:

Dr. Rifkin is the Director of Technical Programs at the Systems Engineering Research Center, a Department of Defense University-Affiliated Research Center operated by Stevens Institute of Technology, where he is Research Professor in the School of Systems and Enterprises. Prior to SERC and Stevens, he was a program manager with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and with Master Systems Inc., an advisory services firm that helped organizations improve the processes they used to manage and develop systems.

Dr. Rifkin was also at the Software Engineering Institute, a DoD-funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon Univ., for three years as a direct report to Watts Humphrey, the father of software process improvement. His work and research interest has centered on implementation, deployment, and getting best practices into actual practice. He has implemented improved practices in many organizations and helped to install institutional entities that can sustain the improvements. He has also started software process improvement network (SPIN) groups thoughout the world to meet and share best practices.

Dr. Rifkin founded Master Systems Inc. at the request of the headquarters of the American Red Cross, where he was the head of systems development. Prior to the Red Cross, Dr. Rifkin had been the chief information officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He had also been a visiting scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), in Geneva. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration (quantitative methods) from California State University, a master’s degree in computer science at UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a doctorate in organizational analysis at the George Washington University.

Dr. Rifkin is on the editorial board of the new Journal of Enterprise Transformation, was the guest editor of the second issue, and had a paper published in the first one. He was an associate editor in chief of IEEE Software, where he guided the management and quality topics. He has been on the founding editorial board of Empirical Software Engineering, was a founder of the Foundation for the Empirical Study of Programmers, is a senior member of IEEE (computer, engineering management), and the Association for Computing Machinery, and is a member of the Academy of Management, Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, Systems Dynamics Society, and the International Council on Systems Engineering.

Each year Wall Street & Technology magazine names two CIOs of the Year. Dr. Rifkin was the only consultant to both awardees in 1999. He is acknowledged in Strategic Organizational Diagnosis And Design: Developing Theory for Application, 2nd ed. Dr. Rifkin was the program chair of the Software Engineering Process Group Conference, 2002, the largest software engineering conference in the world. He was the project manager of the Project Management Institute’s Organizational Project Management Maturity Model.

Dr. Rifkin has taught graduate engineering management for many years. He was selected as the 2008-2009 adjunct faculty outstanding teacher for his work in the School of Engineering & Technology, National University.

Research Work

Collaborator Organization