Mel E. Salveson

TIMS President, 1959

Melvin Erwin Salveson was a founder of TIMS and its sixth president. He initiated the founding of TIMS in September 1953, and suggested the name Management Science Institute for it. This name was altered to The Institute of Management Sciences at the first meeting of this organization in December 1953. The idea of TIMS grew out of the Management Sciences Research Project at UCLA, which he founded and directed during 1948-1954. Dr. Salveson also proposed the creation of the TIMS colleges.

Having served to the rank of lieutenant commander in the USNR (1941-1946), Mel Salveson started his career as a consultant to McKinsey & Co. in 1948 in New York City. In 1949, he joined the University of California at Los Angeles as an assistant professor of management science and director of management science research, a position that he held until 1954. In 1952, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was influenced by the ideas of his mentors, Tjalling Koopmans and Milton Friedman.

He spent the next three years as manager of advanced data systems at General Electric Co., using the first computer in industry—the Univac I. His work at GE started in Louisville and took him to New York City. He was President Management Sciences in Los Angeles during 1957-1967, where he focused on application of management science to business problems.

Dr. Salveson founded the Electronics Currency Corporation starting in 1964 and continues to serve as its President. He was responsible for creating the system that serves for the operation of MasterCard and VISA. Continuing his interests in universal transaction systems, he founded OneCard International, Inc. in 1983 and UniCard System, Inc. in 1993. He is also founder and President of American Foundation for Education and Economic Development, a not-for-profit organization for advancing education.

In addition to his positions of leadership in business, Dr. Salveson served as an advisor on information systems for the U.S. Air Force, the City of Los Angeles, and California’s department of human resources. He also served on the boards of several corporations, and was a member of the board of trustees of Long Beach City College, which elected him to its hall of fame. e has also taught at Pepperdine University and University of Southern California.

BS, 1941, UC Berkeley; MS, 1947, MIT; PhD, 1952, Chicago.