Adrienne A. Harris is a Professor of the Practice at the University of Michigan, as well as a Gates Foundation Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Finance, Law and Policy at the University. Her Fellowship focuses on the study of the Central Bank of the Future. Adrienne also advises fintech companies, incumbent financial institutions, and large venture capital firms.
Most recently, Adrienne was the Chief Business Officer and General Counsel a San Francisco-based, insur-tech start-up for which she is now an Advisor. She joined the company as a founding executive and was part of the team that acquired the sixth largest incumbent in the space, increasing her company’s value more than 10x in twenty months.
Adrienne currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Financial Health Network (formerly CFSI), the International Technology Advisory Panel (ITAP) for the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Bank Director FinXTech Advisory Board, as a Network Leader for Village Global, on the NYU Stern School of Business’ Fintech Advisory Board of the Fubon Center for Technology, Business, and Innovation, and as a Term Member on the Council of Foreign Relations.
Adrienne was a Special Assistant to President Obama for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council in the Obama White House, where her portfolio included financial reform, financial technology, cyber security, consumer protection, and housing finance reform. At the White House, Adrienne spearheaded the development of the Administration’s fintech strategy, chairing both the Interagency Fintech Working Group and the Administration’s Distributed Ledger Technology Task Force. She came to the White House from the U.S. Department of Treasury where she served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary.
Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., Adrienne was an Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, where her practice included representing financial institutions in complex regulatory proceedings and M&A transactions. While at the firm, Adrienne was tapped to serve as an advisor to numerous local, state and national political campaigns and transitions. From 2007 to 2008, she was a Judicial Clerk in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for the Honorable Stephen C. Robinson.
Adrienne earned her M.B.A. from the New York University Stern School of Business with specializations in Economics and Management, her J.D. from Columbia University Law School, where she was a member of the Columbia Law Review, and her B.A. from Georgetown University, where she was a John Carroll Scholar and graduated with honors.
“Adrienne is passionate about the power of technology to shape the financial services industry of the future, and to impact the economy and society. Her combination of experiences in fintech, government and law put her at the vanguard of innovative thinking. She is the total package.”
— JENNIFER TESCHER, CFSI PRESIDENT & CEO
“I never hesitate to tap Adrienne when I need a thoughtful and highly engaging speaker for the CEO summits that we organize. Her perspectives are unique and her delivery authentic and powerful. She is always one of our most highly rated speakers - high praise, indeed, given the discerning nature of our audience.”
— KAREN L. WEBSTER, PYMNTS.COM & WHAT’S NEXT MEDIA & ANALYTICS CEO
“Adrienne is an incredibly engaging speaker and her passion for the subject matter is infectious. Adrienne has deep professional expertise, and it shows. She draws on her time both in the heart of the White House and now the technology sector to provide a unique perspective on the topics of innovation and regulation and has influenced industry leaders in many parts of the world. In particular, Adrienne will inspire any ambitious, aspiring female businesswoman to follow their dreams with no equivocation.”
— ALASTAIR LUKIES CBE, UK PRIME MINISTER'S BUSINESS AMBASSADOR, FINTECH
“Adrienne has spoken to diverse audiences at the Stern School of Business and she can hold a room like few others! She engaged audiences ranging from senior executives with decades of experience and technical knowledge to first year undergraduates, in all cases meeting the audience where they are and at the same time delivering extraordinary insight. She is versatile, maintaining the rapt attention of groups of 600 as easily as she does groups of 15.”
— BATIA WIESENFELD, DEPARTMENT CHAIR SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, NYU
“As the keynote speaker for my organization’s biggest event of the year, Adrienne was not just thought-provoking and entertaining. She was inspirational, too. Her powerful personal story and unique insights on leadership, finance, and technology makes Adrienne one of the most powerful speakers I’ve seen, for any audience. ”
— MARISA PORGES, HEAD OF THE BALDWIN SCHOOL
FinTech has become a popular term and an even more popular industry. In the US alone during the first half of 2018, fintech investing grew to $57.9B across 875 deals, up from a total of $38.1B in all of 2017. And similar trends are apparent in Asia and Europe, with those regions making significant government and private sector investments in the space. And in that time, the types of innovations that have emerged, the investor set, and the response of incumbents and regulators have changed dramatically.
These changes are no coincidence, and they are far from the last for fintech and financial services. What’s driving these changes? What’s next on the horizon? And how will it impact your industry, markets and consumers?
Seventeen percent of Americans are financially vulnerable and 55 percent are coping. That means only 28 percent are financially healthy. Almost half of Americans spend more than or equal to what they make and do not have enough to cover three months of living expenses. Almost one third of Americans have more debt than they can manage. And all of this in the most prosperous country in the world.
It’s easy to think that financial vulnerability is about being poor or irresponsible with one’s financial choices, but these numbers tell a different story. Why are personal finances so difficult to manage? Why, even when we make responsible financial choices do we still come up short? Why are the simple financial choices we all make every day so daunting and hard to get our arms around? And what can financial services and fintech do to help?
In the age of #TimesUp, #MeToo and The Women’s March, women are changing the game – at work, at home, and in society at large. But this isn’t the first time society has grappled with women’s equality, so what, if anything, makes this time different? Why is it a competitive advantage for your business to understand these dynamics? What can you do to seize that competitive advantage?