Lisa W. Wardell is chairman and CEO of Adtalem Global Education. Adtalem Global Education Inc. (NYSE: ATGE; member S&P MidCap 400 Index) is a leading workforce solutions provider and the parent organization of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain University, EduPristine, OnCourse Learning, Ross University School of Medicine and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Wardell was appointed chairman of the board in 2019. She has been president and CEO since 2016 and has been a member of Adtalem’s board of directors since 2008. She is the only African American female chairman and CEO in the S&P 400 Index. During her tenure, Wardell has overseen the strategic repositioning of Adtalem’s portfolio, successfully acquiring and integrating companies in Adtalem’s financial services vertical, and leading turnarounds and divestitures of Adtalem’s non-core assets.
Under her leadership, gender and ethnic diversity has increased at the Adtalem board to 67%, and within Adtalem’s senior leadership to 75%. Wardell has also led the higher education sector in implementing new standards in transparency and financial literacy, and in cultivating quality partnerships to fill critical global workforce needs. Her strategic and mission-focused leadership positions Adtalem’s global community for sustainable success.
Prior to her current position with Adtalem, Wardell was executive vice president and chief operating officer for The RLJ Companies. As COO, Wardell was responsible for managing The RLJ Companies portfolio, including strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, business strategy, operations and finance. Prior to joining The RLJ Companies, Wardell was a principal at Katalyst Venture Partners, a private equity firm that invested in start-up technology companies, and a senior consultant for Accenture in the organization’s communications and technology strategic services practice.
Wardell earned her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her law degree from Stanford Law School. She earned her MBA in finance and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Wardell serves on the boards of American Express (NYSE: AXP), a Fortune 100 company, Lowe’s Home Improvement (NYSE: LOW), a Fortune 50 company, and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Inc. She is also the vice chair, executive committee of The Business Council, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion and the Fortune CEO Initiative. Additionally, Lisa has been featured on CNBC as well as in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Business Insider, Cheddar and other publications.