Adena Friedman

President and CEO, Nasdaq

adena_friedmanWhen Barb Brown and Margie Flynn start
ed the journey to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their corporate sustainability and governance consulting firm, BrownFlynn, they chose not to highlight their own career story, but instead give further voice to women leaders.

The result is their new book Uplifting Leaders* (*Who Happen to be Women), which features advice and insight from 25 of the nation’s most accomplished and influential women business leaders, including Adena Friedman, who assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of Nasdaq on January 1, 2017. She’s also a member of the Board of Directors.

Adena brings more than 20 years of industry leadership and expertise and is credited with significant contributions that shaped Nasdaq’s strategic transformation to a leading global exchange and technology solutions company with operations on six continents.

She’s also a strong advocate for women in leadership and is an avid supporter of mentoring and career opportunities for women in the financial services industry.

IUpliftingLeaders_quote17n Uplifting Leaders, Adena shares childhood stories of watching her parents work to achieve their goals, as well as her experiences with male mentors at Nasdaq.

She also advocates that aspiring leaders be not only good communicators, but also great listeners.

“When you listen and try to see deeply into the psyche of your client or employee, you can gain a deeper understanding of what needs to be done to improve the product or your relationship or the company,” she says.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Adena served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Nasdaq throughout 2016 and was responsible for overseeing all of the company’s business segments with a focus on driving efficiency, product development, growth and expansion.

Adena rejoined Nasdaq in 2014 as President, after serving as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group from March 2011 to June 2014.

Before Carlyle, Adena was a key member of Nasdaq’s management team for over a decade, serving in a variety of roles including head of the company’s data products business, head of corporate strategy, as well its Chief Financial Officer.

Adena is credited with significant contributions to the strategy and expansion of the organization, helping to create one of the most diversified exchanges in the world today. She played an instrumental role in the company’s acquisition strategy, overseeing the acquisitions of INET, OMX, and the Philadelphia and Boston Exchanges. She originally joined Nasdaq in 1993.


To learn more about Uplifting Leaders, visit

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