How Failure and Resilience Helped Darlene Newman, the DTCC Executive Director, to Become a Global FinTech Leader and Innovator

November 8, 2023 | Emilia Chiscop-Head, PhD, Duke FinTech and Cyber Program Manager

How Failure and Resilience Helped Darlene Newman, the DTCC Executive Director, to Become a Global FinTech Leader and Innovator

“I grew up in a small town in Arizona. When I graduated from college, I did not have any goal other than living in New York,” said Darlene Newman, the November 4 guest speaker for the Duke FinTech seminar. Darlene Newman is Executive Director and Head of Internal Technology Research & Innovation at DTCC, the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry. Darlene told the students her inspiring story about the challenging journey from a student passionate about entrepreneurship to who she is today, a successful social entrepreneur and a leader in innovation. “I failed many times, I was rejected many times, but I always followed my goal with resilience,” she said. Embracing risk, not being afraid of failure and being resilient – are the most important lessons she learned along her path. She advised students to also build networks that will support them as they build their careers. “It is going to be a challenge wherever you go. Your personal, professional, and social networks are important to support you,” she said. “What motivated you while struggling?” asked David Liu, a FinTech student. “I did not want to be someone who gave up. I wanted to keep going on my path to reach my goal,” said Darlene.

Darlene ’s bio tells us that “for over two decades, she has been at the forefront of incubating, launching, and overseeing multiple high-profile and award-winning initiatives for startups and large organizations alike across financial services and consumer industries. She has worked with leading companies such as UBS, Estée Lauder, and Reckitt, and has led teams ranging from emerging tech research and digital transformation to execution and scale of new capabilities, including facial recognition, augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR), and natural language processing (NLP). Aside from launching one of the first digital streaming platforms on a mobile device, Darlene is passionate about inspiring and empowering women to be changemakers and to become the leaders of tomorrow. She is involved with several academic initiatives and organizations that foster growing women’s presence in the technology and data fields.”

At the end of the seminar session, Darlene, along with a small DTCC team, led a recruiting internship session for interested Duke Fintech students. The students who interned with DTCC this past summer also presented their Capstone projects to the DTCC team and their colleagues.