Donald Stanford



Complex innovation projects are usually risky to one of more of the constituents involved.  And, the more radical/innovative the concepts involved in the project, the more uncertain the outcome in many cases.  The risks come in many flavors and, if recognized at the outset, can be potentially mitigated by taking certain precautions along the innovation highway.  Failure to recognize and take precautionary steps may result in some combination of financial loss, rejection by customers, internal turmoil among staff and loss of prestige in the marketplace.


This presentation will discuss a variety of risks that complex and innovative projects present and also examine some of the effective measures that can oftentimes mitigate the risks if they are implemented in a timely and thoughtful fashion.  I will draw from personal experiences as well as those of others to illustrate these points.

Donald L. Stanford

Donald Stanford retired from GTECH Holdings in January 2002 as a GTECH Technology Fellow.  Don began working for GTECH's founders in 1979 as Manager of Software Development.  Over 22 years, he held every technical leadership position, including Vice President of Advanced Development and Chief Technology Officer.  Stanford guided the growth of GTECH's technology organization from a software staff of four in 1979 to its current worldwide deployment of over 800 IT professionals.  From 1986 until 1989 Don served on the GTECH Corporation Board.  Under Don's leadership GTECH advanced the state of the art in both transaction processing and wireless communications which enabled it to dominate its industry worldwide and install systems on 6 continents.  In 2001 Don was appointed Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brown University.


Don serves on several charitable boards and is President of the Board of the Times Squared Academy Charter School, an inner city school which promotes excellence in math, science and technology.  Don also serves on the board of the RI Business Innovation Factory and is a member of the R.I. Governor's Science and Technology Advisory committee.


In 1999 Don received the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement.  He also received that year the Honorable Thurgood Marshall award for community service from the NAACP.


Most recently, Don is heading up the development of a universal and secure mobile payments and transaction company called mPayUSA in conjunction with several former GTECH colleagues.  Stanford earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 1972 and a Master's in Computer Science/Applied Mathematics in 1977 from Brown University.