Introducing Mason’s new Executive Director of Salesforce, Matt Schaefer


As the implementation of Salesforce continues to take shape at Mason, we sat down with Executive Director, Matt Schaefer, to delve into his professional journey, goals for the role, and exciting plans for the university's Salesforce initiative. Matt brings a wealth of experience, having navigated the realms of IT recruitment, leadership, and consultancy in the Salesforce domain. Read on to find out more about Matt's vision for enhancing Mason's student experience through Salesforce and his role in establishing a Salesforce Center of Excellence.  

Hi Matt, welcome to Mason!  What goals would you like to achieve as you embark on your role as Executive Director (E.D.) of Salesforce?   

My goals fall into two categories. First, I plan to help Mason achieve its goal of transforming the student lifecycle via Salesforce. We have a really strong team with the skills and drive to make our application and student experience the best out there. My second goal is to help Mason create a Salesforce Center of Excellence, which will serve as a framework for managing our existing Salesforce platforms, as well as our upcoming Salesforce platform.      

Tell us more about the Salesforce Center of Excellence (CoE). What is its primary objective? What specific needs does it aim to address?   

The Salesforce CoE determines how we collect and prioritize new ideas around Salesforce, how we create, test, and launch these improvements, and, most importantly, how we make sure everyone in our university community is on board and comfortable with these changes. Plus, it's a space where we can continuously learn and adapt, ensuring that our Salesforce solutions always meet the evolving needs of our university.  

Can you describe the structure and organization of the Salesforce CoE? For example, how is it composed and who are the key team members?  

The Salesforce CoE brings together a mix of technical and non-technical experts from around the university. It is composed of executive team members, product owners (sometimes product managers), scrum masters, business analysts, developers, testers, QA analysts, and team members responsible for change management (trainers, instructional designers, etc.). Not all roles listed are currently involved but will be as the team evolves. By the end of the Salesforce implementation, this group will be ready to serve existing and new business units utilizing the new platform.  

Is there any way that Mason faculty and staff can get involved with or seek support from the Salesforce CoE?  

At the moment, the Salesforce CoE is primarily focused on Enrollment Management, as they are the primary users of our current Salesforce orgs. As stated above, this will expand greatly after the implementation of Salesforce. If you have a question for the Salesforce CoE, you can email and I’ll be happy to respond.   

Great! Speaking of faculty and staff, can you talk about how you plan to collaborate with units and stakeholders across the university to ensure the effective implementation of the Salesforce platform?  

Our main method for ensuring this collaboration is establishing executive level and team level groups comprised of key members from various units across campus. These team members represent their areas and work together to figure out requirements, make decisions, and work directly with our implementation partner to ensure what is being built really meets student needs 

We’re so happy to have you as part of our Mason community. What led you to the university and the role as E.D. of Salesforce?  

I started out in IT recruitment, but my career took a significant turn towards higher education in 2004 when I joined Laureate Education—a higher education company that managed a network of universities both locally and internationally, with a blend of online and traditional campuses. My role started in central enrollment operations, but quickly shifted to our central IT team where I held leadership roles responsible for the successful rollout and ongoing support of CRM platforms to many of these schools. After 16 years at Laureate, I shifted gears to Salesforce consulting, where I held leadership and program management roles. This brings us to current day, where I have been serving Mason as Interim Executive Director of CRM since January 2023. 

What excites you the most about working at Mason? What are you most looking forward to as you journey into this new role?  

The potential to do great things here is high. Since joining in January, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with so many individuals who are deeply committed to enhancing the student experience. They're not just focused on the here and now; they're also keenly aware of the need to revolutionize this experience using Salesforce. If we can make our students’ journeys easier by providing faster access to the tools and resources they need to succeed, I believe we’re not only doing immediate good for our students, but also long-term good for the communities our students intend to serve when they graduate.    


To learn more about Salesforce at Mason, visit our Salesforce initiative webpage. If you have questions, check out our Salesforce FAQs complete the Salesforce Stakeholder Engagement Form, or contact the Salesforce Project Management Office at