Edward J. “Ed” Heffernan ’86

Retired President and CEO, Alliance Data Systems, Texas

Ed Heffernan retired in 2019 after 11 years as chief executive officer of Alliance Data, a leading provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions. He joined Alliance in May 1998 as vice president of M&A, then became chief financial officer in 2000, leading the company's IPO in 2001. After going public and through the end of his tenure as chief executive officer, the stock increased over 1,000 percent. As a leader, Mr. Heffernan has championed the company's corporate giving efforts, stressing the importance of delivering beyond financial performance in order to maintain a reputation as a great place to work.

An advocate for children’s health and education, Mr. Heffernan serves on the board of directors of Children’s Medical Center and on the board and long-range planning committee of the Shelton School, a private school for children with learning differences in Dallas, TX. Mr. Heffernan holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is married with two children.