Alan Trefler is the Founder and CEO of Pegasystems Inc., (NASDAQ: PEGA) a Cambridge-based company that empowers the world’s leading enterprises to Build for Change®. He is a visionary leader, technology change-agent, innovative philanthropist, and a trusted advisor to business executives around the world.
He first gained visibility on the international stage when he earned a chess Master rating at age 19 and, against all odds, tied for first place in the 1975 World Open Chess Championship. This facilitated his early AI work at Dartmouth College, including working to teach computers to play chess. After graduation, Alan began a career as a software engineer and architect. However, his passion and support for chess, the game's community, and current champions continues to this day.
As a lead developer of financial and insurance industry software, Alan shared his clients’ frustration with how disconnected the use of technology was from their business processes and goals. Inspired, he founded Pega in 1983 with the vision of creating software that is easy to use and accessible to everyone – businesspeople and IT alike. The model-driven software he pioneered is today known as low-code.
Alan has earned multiple patents and overseen the expansion of Pega from start-up to a $1.3+ billion, global, public company with about 6,000 employees. Today, Pega software is used by some of the most successful and recognized brands as well as government agencies around the world.
Alan has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades for his lifetime of efforts both inside and outside of work, including Public Company CEO of the Year by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Software CEO of the Year by the American Business Awards, and the Babson College Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. His book, Build for Change, is a best-seller.
Alan takes nothing for granted. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, he makes the most of every opportunity. He and his wife Pam are champions of education and community support, founding the Trefler Foundation in 1999 to support and improve education and workforce development, health care, and healthy lifestyles. They are dedicated to creating progress and change, especially in communities that experience significant disadvantage.