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Dr. Jeffrey Sutherland
Joseph W. Martin, Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award

A 1958 graduate of North Attleboro High School, Jeffrey Sutherland is not only a distinguished and worldly-known developer of a popular software development process, but he is a decorated fighter pilot who served his country proudly. The great distinction, dedication, honor and poise that have characterized his career have brought honor to our school and our town.

After graduating from high school, Jeff attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, earning a degree in engineering, mathematics and economics in 1964. West Point's mission is to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets to become leaders with commitment to Duty, Honor and one's Country. Armed with these important core values, Jeff started his career as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. In 1967, Jeff achieved Top Gun status and flew more than 100 combat missions over North Vietnam.

After 11 years as a pilot, Jeff joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical School where he had also received his Doctoral degree. As Assistant Professor of Radiology, Biometrics, and Preventive Medicine, he co-founded the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research under the sponsorship of Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling. For eight years, Jeff was the Principle Investigator of a National Cancer Center research grant that ran all IT programs and research for the Colorado Regional Cancer Center.

In 1983, Jeff's career progressed when he joined a banking company that operated 150 banks throughout North America. Jeff was Vice President of Advanced Systems and General Manager of their ATM Business Unit. Upon working there and noticing that waterfall processes at the bank were not working, he implemented the first prototype of Scrum for organizational transformation of a business unit. Scrum is an Agile software development process designed to add energy, focus, clarity, and transparency to project planning and implementation. Today it is used in small, mid-sized, and large software corporations all over the world.

Throughout his career, Jeff has been Vice President of Engineering and CTO or CEO of eleven software companies. In his first four companies, he prototyped Scrum, and in the fifth company he created and implemented Scrum. Scrum is currently used in 74% of Agile software companies in over 100 countries.

In 2006, Jeff co-founded Scrum, Inc. which is now recognized as the premiere source of Scrum Training in the world. Scrum, Inc. works to employ real-time decision-making processes that will allow businesses and corporations to self-manage, communicate and make decisions. He is also chair of the Scrum Foundation and Senior Advisor and Agile Coach to Openview Venture Partners.

Jeff has also distinguished himself as a presenter and author, having written multiple books and been published throughout his career. His latest book, "Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time," describes how he used his background and experience to create the most widely used Agile practice in industry today. Jeff has spent his career on the cutting-edge of software development, laying the ground work for future developers and businesses.

Jeff has two sons with his wife Arline. Both have followed in their father's legacy in terms of mathematics and science. One son is a mathematician at MIT and the other is a former war correspondent for NPR who now works for Scrum Inc. and was instrumental in the writing of "Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time". Jeff also has four grandchildren (one of whom is the youngest freshman at MIT at the age of 14) and one great grandson.