Jeff Wallman was Executive Director of Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC) from December 2009 to September 2018. He led the organization on its journey from a fledgling start-up to a vibrant, information-rich global organization that delivers unique, open source technologies and open access resources. Under Wallman's direction, more than 15 million pages of vulnerable manuscripts and block prints were preserved and four major strategic plans were implemented. He expanded operations in Asia, developed an innovative technology ecosystem for digital archiving and data management, galvanized new global audiences, directed the creation of hundreds of thousand of metadata objects, and expanded a content delivery platform in multiple languages and countries.
Prior to becoming Executive Director, Wallman worked closely for eight years with the legendary E. Gene Smith, who founded the organization as Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) in 1999. TBRC was founded to digitize Smith's personal collection of Tibetan texts, but it has expanded to become the world's largest digital library of Buddhist texts. From 2001 through 2009, Wallman served as TBRC's Director of Technology. He managed the full scope of digital library operations and platform development. As technical lead for more than a decade, Wallman developed full-stack custom software solutions, spearheaded two major product releases, including a i18N multi-language digital library platform using Java/GWT, designed and implemented faceted browse interface to give user access to taxonomy and classifications, and authored XML Schema to capture complex knowledge requirements. In addition, he designed and implemented knowledge models, organized metadata creation resulting in 550K metadata objects, and designed an interlinked biographical database of 17,000 historical persons and a geographical database of 7,500 historical sites and regions. Moreover, he led the development of a cultural licensing and access policy to define digital rights for cultural heritage resources.
Wallman was personally selected by Smith to be Executive Director in 2009 and they worked closely together until Smith's untimely death on December 16, 2010. As Executive Director, he led organizational development, strategy retreats, board development, fundraising, donor and client relations, federal grant management, and built long-term partnerships with governments, agencies, universities and donors to ensure growth and maximize organizational impact. Under his direction, BDRC flourished as a resilient and creative cultural organization.
During Wallman's tenure, the mission of BDRC both deepened and expanded. His overall focus was on creating custom digital solutions to the challenges of textual preservation. Toward that end, he used a wide range of technologies in information science, digital asset management, digital libraries, digital archiving, digital preservation, and semantic web. This included specializations in information science, taxonomies, ontologies, metadata, search engine development, linked open data, database design, web development, usability and user experience, and multi-language platform development incorporating internationalization and localization strategies.