Christine Riordan


Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D., is the first woman to serve as president of Adelphi University in New York. She is an internationally recognized expert in leadership development, team building, and diversity and inclusion, and is recognized for her ground breaking initiatives to personalize and transform the higher education experience.

Since beginning her appointment as Adelphi’s 10th president in 2015, she has launched a remarkable turnaround strategy that has led to a boost in enrollment, increased fundraising, greater recognition and new strategies to promote student success and diversity and inclusion. In the fall of both 2016 and 2017, Adelphi enrolled the largest first-year classes in its history. Adelphi has been named a Top U.S. College by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2018. Adelphi has advanced in its U.S. News & World Report rankings, has been cited for excellence by USA Today, Forbes and Washington Monthly, and has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Alumni giving is at an all-time high.

Prior to beginning her Adelphi appointment, Dr. Riordan served as provost of the University of Kentucky, which had more than 30,000 students, 19,000 full- and part-time employees and a budget of $3 billion, and as dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, a U.S. News & World Report—ranked Best Business School.

Dr. Riordan has published more than 60 academic and business press articles, is authoring a book on leadership, and is a frequent speaker on leadership and overcoming challenges, including her TEDx talk, “Dare to Be Extraordinary.” Dr. Riordan consults regularly with corporations on leadership development activities, diversity management and team performance. She has been interviewed by and written articles for media such as The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Hu Post, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch, CareerBuilder and Psychology Today. These articles are profiled at Her work has been cited more than 4,300 times by other authors.

Dr. Riordan serves on the board of directors of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX), is chair of the nominating and governance committee and serves on the compensation committee. She previously served on the audit committee. Dr. Riordan is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Leadership Fellow, which is the Gold Standard Director Credential. She is on the board of directors of the Long Island Association (LIA), a leading business organization on Long Island, and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York (CICU). Dr. Riordan is a trustee and serves on the steering committee of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE). She is a member of the President’s Advisory Council at the Georgia Institute of Technology and she is chair of the President’s Council for the Northeast-10 Athletic Conference.

Dr. Riordan has made her mark since moving to Long Island. In 2016 and 2017, she made the Long Island Press Power List of the 50 most influential people on Long Island, and Long Island Business News included her in its listings of Who’s Who in Education, Who’s Who in Professional Women and Top CEOs. She was also named the Bethpage Best of Long Island Awards Best College President. She is a recipient of the Advancement for Commerce, Industry & Technology (ACIT) Monsignor Hartman Humanitarian Award for Commitment to Leadership in the Field of Education. In 2017, she was named a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction and was awarded the Excellence in Service Award by the Islamic Center of Long Island. The Garden City Chamber of Commerce honored Dr. Riordan as its Businessperson of the Year in 2018. She was honored in 2018 by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine as one of 25 Top Women in Higher Education Who Are Making A Di erence.

Other awards and recognitions include the Family & Children’s Association 2015 Woman of Distinction, the Girl Scout Woman of Distinction, one of the Most Brilliant Minds in Fort Worth and the Michael Driver Award for Best Careers Article. For her scholarly work, she has received the Sarah Moss Fellowship for International Research, the Sanford Research Fellowship and the Sanford Faculty-Practitioner Grant.