“If something is almost impossible, that means it’s possible.”
For over 30 years, this belief has allowed Anthony Scriffignano to reach the level of success that he holds today. He is the Senior Vice President, Chief Data Scientist at Dun and Bradstreet, where he leads worldwide efforts to discover, curate and synthesize increasingly complex business information in multiple languages, geographies and contexts. He works with government and private sector counterparties to understand and respond to increasing demands in Big Data, data privacy and related issues. Scriffignano joined D&B in 2002, having an extensive background in linguistics and advanced computer algorithms. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degree from Montclair State and has remained active with his alma mater. Scriffignano also holds an MBA from Columbia University and a PhD from Antioch University.
In May 2015, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award at the College of Science and Mathematics convocation ceremony.
“The experience this May was so much more than I ever expected it to be,” he says. “Returning to campus has always been a positive experience but to see how much it’s grown continues to amaze me.”
One of the founding members of the Montclair State University Computer Science Department Advisory Board, Scriffignano has a strong commitment to education and advises the Computer Science Department in curriculum issues in Big Data and Data Science. A former adjunct professor at Seton Hall University, he designed and taught subjects related to communication strategies, negotiation, power and influences and business implications of electronic communications. He has also held senior positions with Deloitte Consulting and other multinational organizations.
A lifelong learner in a world that’s constantly changing, he often refers to the words of great thought leaders. Quoting Albert Einstein, Scriffignano encourages thinking differently; “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
“I strive to teach something and learn something every day,” Scriffignano says. “In my profession and consulting, it’s necessary to know a little bit about many things in order to connect disparate competencies. Often, if something is said to be almost impossible, that means it’s possible.”
Scriffignano has come a long way since his time at Montclair State, including marrying his wife and fellow Montclair State alumna, Rosanne Passafaro Scriffignano ’84.
His first full-time job was while pursuing his undergraduate work, automating analysis of the engineering implications of using very large construction cranes for a manufacturer and sales agent. As a result, he got involved early on in computer science and has worked to become an expert in multiple industries. Whether in the classroom or solving big data problems, Scriffignano is a great example of how one’s love of learning is endless.