First Black Woman Named Board Chair of New York Stock Exchange

Compiled by John Burton Jr.

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. named Sharon Bowen the chair of the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange, the first African American woman to hold the position. According to TRT World, the Wall Street Exchange has 2,400 listed companies and a capitalization of $36 trillion.

Bowen previously made history as the first African American to serve as the Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Currently, Bowen is a finance and securities lawyer. Since 2017, she’s been a member of the board of directors of Intercontinental Exchange Inc., NYSE’s parent company. In April, Bowen was appointed to the board of directors of Akamai Technologies Inc. 

“Akamai is pleased to welcome such a distinguished financial and legal expert to its board of directors,” Dr. Tom Leighton, Akamai chief executive officer and co-founder said at the announcement. “In an environment with evolving regulatory developments and market risks, we look forward to benefiting from Sharon’s vast experience and expertise.”

Born in Chesapeake, Va., Bowen holds a bachelor of arts with distinction in economics from the University of Virginia. She obtained an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and earned a juris doctor degree from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. Bowen has more than 30 years of experience in business law as a partner and associate in several law firms. In 2010, Bowen was handpicked by former President Barack Obama to serve as vice-chair and acting chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.