Alyssa Picchini Schaffer is a vice president and senior scientist at the Simons Foundation, where she manages the neuroscience collaborations (the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain, and the Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain) and the Pivot Fellowship. Picchini Schaffer has a diverse background and expertise in neural stem cell biology, pharmacology, policy and media across business, government and academic sectors. She is passionate about fostering collaboration among multidisciplinary teams to address significant questions in neuroscience and effective science communication. Before joining the foundation, Picchini Schaffer was scientific director of TEDMED, a division of TED focused on science, health and medicine. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and is an alumna of the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and Lafayette College. Outside of her work in science, Picchini Schaffer is a board member for Partners in Promise, an organization that advocates for the educational rights of military children with special needs, and board treasurer for the Heartbeat Music Project, an organization that offers music education for Navajo (Diné) K-12 students living on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico.