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Sharon Bowen Makes History As First Black Woman Chair of NYSE Board

Sharon Bowen Makes History As First Black Woman Chair of NYSE Board

She previously got a stamp of approval from President Barack Obama!

Sharon Bowen has made history as the first Black woman chair of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Board, Yahoo! reports.

Bowen is a Chesapeake, Virginia native who holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia, a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and a master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Since December 2017, the veteran finance and securities lawyer has served as a member on the board of directors of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE), the parent company of NYSE. Now, she has been named board chair of the NYSE by ICE, making history as the first Black woman to hold the title. 

Her appointment comes on the heels of ICE founder and CEO Jeff Sprecher making a number of changes in senior leadership across the company, the goal being to continue to serve an ever changing market and finance landscape. 

“When a handful of colleagues and I founded ICE over twenty years ago, our simple idea was to make trading more automated and transparent, and that purpose anchored our original leaders as we grew exponentially, and their duties grew along with the firm. Now with a market capitalization of over $70 billion, and a substantially transformed company from our origins, it’s more important than ever to challenge our leaders to take on new tasks and acquire new skills as we serve a new and ever-evolving marketplace,” said Sprecher in a Dec. 6 letter. 

Bowen joins a host of new 2022 senior leaders including Lynn Martin, who will become the next NYSE president, Mark Wassersug, who will become the new chief information officer for ICE, and Stuart Williams, who will become the new chief operating officer for ICE.

While Bowen will be assuming this historic role, she is no stranger to sitting on boards or firsts. This past April, Bowen also became a member of Akamai Technologies Board of Directors, the co-founder praising Bowen’s financial and legal expertise at the time. 

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join Akamai’s board. Akamai plays a vital role in maintaining a reliable and secure internet. I look forward to contributing to its future success at this critical moment in history,” said Bowen. 

She was also previously named vice chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in 2010 by President Barack Obama and in 2014, she became the first African American to be appointed Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Congratulations, Sharon! Keep blazing your own trail. 

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