John B. Sheffer, II




South High School





John B. Sheffer, II (1966) served as founding Director of the Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth at the University at Buffalo from 1997 to September 2005 and recently retired from university service. Under Sheffer's leadership, the Institute built a strong reputation as a premier public service program through its community partnerships and research and analysis on issues of regional significance to Buffalo Niagara. A former mayor of the Village of Williamsville, he also served ten years in the New York State Assembly and five years in the New York State Senate before going to UB in 1993 to pursue his interests in teaching and research.

Before founding the Institute, Sheffer served as the university's Interim Vice President for Public Service and Urban Affairs and Interim Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. He has written, co-authored, or directed a series of publications on public policy, effective legislative management in New York State, and legislative issues concerning higher education. As a state legislator, some of his most notable policy-making achievements included passage of the Great Lakes Protection Act, the New York State Scenic Byways Program, and the amendment of the New York State Constitution to implement legislation for the Canal Recreationway Commission.

Sheffer's current research interests include government efficiency and collaboration and public policy information and implementation. His recent efforts include consulting appointments through the U.S. Agency for International Development for local governmental efficiency and parliamentary reform in Lebanon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria and Kenya. In addition to Williamsville South, John is a graduate of Wheaton College and Syracuse Law School where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Syracuse Law Review. John resides with his wife, Milly, in Buffalo, NY.