Adena Friedman at the US Department of the Treasury Women in Finance Symposium, July 12, 2011.
Adena Robinson Testa
1969 (age 50–51)
|Education||B.A. Williams College|
M.B.A. Vanderbilt University
|Occupation||CEO of NASDAQ|
|Parent(s)||Adena W. Testa|
Michael D. Testa
Adena T. Friedman (born 1969) is an American businesswoman. She currently serves as the President and CEO of Nasdaq. She was formerly the managing director and CFO of The Carlyle Group. Initially joining Nasdaq in 1993, she returned to Nasdaq from Carlyle in May 2014 as President of Global Corporate and information technology solutions. She was named the CEO of Nasdaq in January 2017, the first woman to lead a global exchange.
Forbes has repeatedly listed Friedman as one of the world’s most powerful women on their annual Power Women list.
Born Adena Robinson Testa and raised in metropolitan Baltimore, she is the daughter of Michael D. Testa, a managing director at T. Rowe Price, and Adena W. Testa, an attorney in the Baltimore law firm of Stewart, Plant & Blumenthal.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Friedman joined Nasdaq in 1993. At Nasdaq, she served as the head of data products and as Chief Financial Officer, amongst others.
She left Nasdaq in 2011 to join private investment firm Carlyle Group as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director, a position she held until 2014.
Friedman returned to Nasdaq as President and Chief Operating Officer. She became CEO in January 2017, replacing Robert Greifeld.
According to Forbes Power Women list, Friedman sees Nasdaq as an "engine for capitalism," and has advocated for “bringing companies back to the public market and making investing accessible.” As CEO, she is “focused on diversifying Nasdaq into a technology company with a focus on growth opportunities, such as data research services.”
In April 2019, Friedman gave a TED talk titled “What’s the future of capitalism?.” She also participated in The Economist magazine The World in 2020 issue with a column titled "Ideas for modernizing capitalism,” predicting that “the fight for the soul of the global economy will heat up.”
During the 2020 Covid-19 crisis, Friedman was featured on The New York Times Corner Office "Logged On From the Laundry Room: How the C.E.O.s of Google, Pfizer and Slack Work From Home" article, sharing perspectives of company CEOs working from home due to the pandemic. She shared her decision to split key personnel at the exchange to two teams to ensure work continuity and described her work from home routine during the crisis. The story included Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, among others.
Friedman has served as a Class B director to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since December 2018, the only Exchange CEO to ever have done this. She also serves on the board of FCLTGlobal, a non-profit organization that researches tools that encourage long-term investing.
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