Serving Education and Training Markets Since 2006

Blackboard Co-Founder

Bio of Stephen Gilfus former founder of Blackboard Inc. now head of Gilfus Education Group

As a Blackboard co-founder in 1997, Stephen guided the original vision, business strategy, product development and sales and marketing efforts for the company, providing value to Blackboard clients such as Yale University Medical School, Cornell University and the University of Pittsburgh and developing the product that is now core to the Blackboard platform.

As a part of the management team Mr. Gilfus has been instrumental in developing Blackboard’s core product strategy, launching such products as the next generation Learning Systems Releases and playing a key role in the development of the Blackboard Academic Suite. He was a primary designer of the Blackboard product line aligning product development to the technical and pedagogical needs of educators.

Gilfus transformed the Blackboard product line into a partner friendly platform by introducing Blackboards Building Blocks, aligning the products with educational technology standards (IMS) and facilitating the development of a Blackboard SCORM 1.2 Player with the ADL Co-labs. Mr. Gilfus has maintained a reputation for being an educational innovator and visionary. Mr. Gilfus is the primary author of the ETF (Educational Technology Framework), a thoughtful methodology towards the implementation of mission critical educational systems.

Since the beginning Stephen has been instrumental to the development of the eLearning market space. Stephen has presented and keynoted several leading global industry conferences and has lectured on teaching and learning on the Internet and the growing online learning marketplace at hundred’s of academic institutions within the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, and Latin America. He has a unique ability to apply complex technology to real world problems and provide greater convenience, a key factor in Blackboard’s growth and institutional adoption. Gilfus has provided leadership strategies to some of the worlds most prestigious academic institutions and world publishers through his design of the Educational Technology Framework.

Mr.Gilfus retired from Blackboard on January 4th,2008 and founded the Gilfus Education Group an independent consulting and management company serving the diverse education sector. the Gilfus Education Group offers independent consulting, implementation and research services to educational institutions, industry investors and the educational companies that serve them. The Group supports both proprietary and open source educational initiatives and implementations. Representing capabilities for meeting organizational objectives and compliance, evaluating education quality and outcomes and supporting technical integration, infrastructure and delivery.

With a foundation of more than 20 years of unparalleled experience and success, the Gilfus Education Group brings to every project unmatched capabilities and personalized focus to achieve outstanding results. Based in Herndon, VA, the firm is led by one of the most respected and innovative executives in the education industry, Stephen Gilfus, who has had a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. as one of the founders of Blackboard Inc. and a primary designer of the companies software products.

Gilfus is a serial entrepreneur, business leader, and noted software designer and inventor. Gilfus received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University where he was an academic scholar and founder of the Cornell Entrepreneur Organization. He is a member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, and an Advisory Board Member of Entrepreneurship@Cornell.

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