Innovation - Partnerships

DFS Exchange Events


United States

DFS Exchange Events


DFS Exchange: A Conversation with Regulators and Industry Leaders on Financial Innovation and Digital-First Regulation

Thursday, June 30, 2022
11:30AM  - 1:30PM

Join us to celebrate the launch of DFS Exchange, an engagement platform to foster the growth of responsible innovation in financial services in New York. Hear from DFS staff, industry experts, regulators, and entrepreneurs about the complementary forces of regulation and innovation in New York, and how the state is embracing a digital-first approach to regulatory oversight. Speakers and WebEx Registration are below.

Event Details

11:30 AM – 11:45 AM

Introductory Remarks

Superintendent Adrienne Harris

Adrienne A. Harris was nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) by Governor Kathy Hochul in August, 2021 and confirmed by the New York State Senate on January 25, 2022.

Superintendent Harris began her career as an Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City representing a number of U.S. and non-U.S. based corporations in various forms of litigation and regulatory matters, before accepting a position at the United States Department of the Treasury under President Obama.

While at the Treasury Department, Superintendent Harris served as a Senior Advisor to both Acting Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller, and Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin. Her work ranged from financial reform efforts to identifying solutions to the student loan crisis, analyzing the nexus between foreign investment and national security, and working to promote financial inclusion and health in communities throughout the country.

Following her time at the Treasury Department, Superintendent Harris joined The White House, where she was appointed as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, as part of the National Economic Council. In this role, she managed the financial services portfolio, which included developing and executing strategies for financial reform and the implementation of Dodd-Frank, consumer protections for the American public, cybersecurity and housing finance reform priorities.

After leaving the White House in January 2017, Superintendent Harris went on to serve as General Counsel and Chief Business Officer at States Title, Inc. (now DOMA), which provides a more simple and affordable closing experience for homebuyers.

Prior to being nominated, she also served as a Professor and as Faculty Co-Director at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's Center on Finance, Law and Policy at the University of Michigan, as well as a Senior Advisor at the Brunswick Group in Washington, D.C.

Kaitlin Asrow, Executive Deputy Superintendent, Research and Innovation Division

Kaitlin Asrow is the Executive Deputy Superintendent of Research and Innovation at the New York Department of Financial Services. She is responsible for economic research, innovation policy, and virtual currency licensing and supervision. Prior to joining DFS, Kaitlin served as a Senior Policy Advisor within the Federal Reserve System specializing in fintech, data governance and management, data privacy, and artificial intelligence. She is a recognized leader in financial services innovation and policy design with experience in entity supervision and research design. Kaitlin has authored multiple papers and books on data policy, including an evaluation of data protection and data rights in the United States, and a review of Open Banking. Kaitlin received her Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago and her BA from Stanford University.

11:45 AM – 12:35PM

Panel 1: Fostering Responsible Innovation in NY

This panel will discuss the complimentary forces of regulation and innovation in the state, and which, we hope, will draw from the panelists’ varied approaches to meeting the evolving needs of consumers, businesses, communities, and institutions.


Kaitlin Asrow, NYDFS

For her bio, please see above.


Christopher Brummer, Georgetown Law

Chris Brummer is a Georgetown law professor and author. He also lectures widely on fintech, financial regulation and global governance. In this capacity, he routinely provides analysis for multilateral institutions and participates in global regulatory forums, and he has testified before US and EU legislative bodies. His work has been featured in CNN, Marketwatch, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Yahoo Money, Roll Call, Cointelegraph, and Coin Desk, among others.

Jimmy Chen, Propel

Jimmy Chen is the founder and CEO of Propel, creators of the award-winning Providers app, used by over 5 million households each month to manage their government benefits and money. A for-profit technology company that holds its social mission at its core, Propel's investors and supporters include Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, the Robin Hood Foundation, Financial Health Network, Kevin Durant, and Serena Williams. Propel has been featured in the New York Times, Wall St Journal, and WIRED Magazine.

Jimmy is the Vice Chair of Technology for the eGovernment Payments Council, an industry trade group focused on government payments, and he serves on the Board of Directors of Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger nonprofit. Jimmy also advises and invests in a number of mission-driven technology startups. Prior to Propel, Jimmy held several positions in product management and software engineering in Silicon Valley.

Jimmy holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, where he was the inaugural winner of the President's Award for the Advancement of the Common Good. He lives with his wife and dog in Brooklyn.

Maria Gotsch, Fintech Innovation Lab

Maria G. Gotsch is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership Fund for New York City (, which is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City.  The Fund, which has invested over $170 million, has built a network of top experts from the investment and corporate communities who help identify and support New York City’s most promising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and non-for profit sectors.  In addition to leading the Fund’s operations, Maria has spearheaded the creation and operation of a number of the Fund’s strategic initiatives, including:  FinTech Innovation Lab; New York Digital Health Accelerator; Transit Tech Lab; NY Fashion Tech Lab; NYCSeed (seed financing for IT/digital media companies); BioAccelerate Prize NYC (proof-of-concept funding for university-based biomedical research); Arts Entrepreneurial Loan Fund (low cost loans for mid-size arts groups);  ReStart Central and Financial Recovery Fund (assistance and funding for small businesses impacted by 9/11/01); and, the NYC Small Business Resource Network (assistance for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 economic shutdown).  Ranked #39 on Crain’s 2021 Most Powerful Women in New York, #16 on City & State New York’s The Life Sciences Power 50 in 2021 and #15 on Institutional Investor’s The FinTech Finance 40 in 2018.  Selected for Crain’s 2019 Notable Women in Tech and 2021 Notable Women on Wall Street.  She is a member of the FINRA FinTech Industry Committee.

Prior to joining the Fund in 1999, Maria was a Managing Director at BT Wolfensohn (now part of Deutsche Bank), providing strategic and financial advice related to mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and the development of business strategies. Before starting with Wolfensohn, Maria worked at LaSalle Partners in the New York area and for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in New York and London.  Maria has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Wellesley College.  She was also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to study international relations at the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland.

Maria is a member of the boards of Sonepar SAS and Sonepar USA Holdings and serves on the audit committee of Sonepar SAS.  She also serves on the advisory boards of ProPublica (investigative journalism non-profit), Schools That Can, Hospital for Special Surgery Innovation Advisory Council and the Cornell-Tech Runway Visiting Committee.

Nicol Turner Lee, The Brookings Institution

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of TechTank. Dr. Turner Lee researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world.  Her work also explores global and domestic broadband deployment and internet governance issues. She is an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development. She has a forthcoming book on the topic, Digitally Invisible: How the Internet is Creating the New Underclass (Brookings Press, 2021).

Dr. Turner Lee comes to Brookings from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), a national non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries. Prior to joining MMTC, Dr. Turner Lee was vice president and the first director of the Media and Technology Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation’s leading think tank on issues related to African Americans and other people of color.

Dr. Turner Lee graduated from Colgate University magna cum laude and has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Dr. Turner-Lee also serves as a Vice Chair of the Federal Communications Commission’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council.

12:35 PM – 1:25PM

Panel 2: Trends in Supervisory Technologies and Approaches

This panel will dive deeper into how DFS is approaching oversight in a digital-first world. The panelists here will discuss the importance of analytics and stakeholder engagement; how regulators can use technology themselves to keep pace with the evolving market, and how the RegTech and SupTech industries are evolving.


Seema Shah, NYDFS

Seema Shah joined the New York Department of Financial Services in April 2020 as an Assistant Deputy Superintendent within the Division of Research and Innovation (R&I).  She was hired to help support external market innovation in financial services, and leverage her previous experiences working closely with the tech sector in a variety of investment and operational roles to ensure that New York remains the jurisdiction of choice for innovators.

During her time at DFS to date, she has led the execution of a Techsprint on Digital Regulatory Reporting for licensed virtual currency companies, assessed new efforts to use technology to address financial exclusion, participated in an investigation that sought to identify and protect consumer data rights, extensively researched the use of AI/ML in the life insurance industry, and launched an “innovator first” platform called DFS Exchange to support entrepreneurs seeking to deliver novel digital solutions that advance the state’s financial services ecosystem and economic development priorities.

Seema earned her Executive MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, her Master’s in Urban Policy and Management from Milano, The New School University and her Bachelor's from Barnard College, Columbia University.


Kaitlin Asrow, NYDFS

For her bio, please see above.

Melissa Netram, FS VECTOR

Melissa Netram brings 20 years of financial services and fintech policy experience to FS Vector. She joins FS Vector from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) where she served as the Commission’s Chief Innovation Officer and Director of LabCFTC.  While at the CFTC, Melissa worked internally and with fellow regulators on promoting responsible innovation by advancing policy, facilitating dialogue between innovators and regulators and educating stakeholders on the advancements in innovation and technology in the ever-changing financial services industry.

Prior to the CFTC, Melissa worked for 9 ½ years in Intuit’s Corporate Affairs department, responsible for working closely with the business teams to ensure the government strategy aligns closely with their business strategy.  Melissa and her team focused on technology, cybersecurity, small business and financial services policy issues around the globe.  She was one of the founding members of the Financial Innovation Now Coalition, one of the first fintech coalitions in the DC area.

Prior to Intuit, Melissa worked at the Financial Services Roundtable, working on legislative and regulatory issues affecting the financial services industry.  Here, Melissa played a key role in shaping the Roundtable’s legislative and regulatory  strategy regarding the Dodd-Frank Act.  From 2003-2007, Melissa worked for The McGraw-Hill Companies.  While originally focused on developing and shaping the corporation’s privacy policies, Melissa also lobbied for Standard & Poor’s, working on the Credit Rating Reform Act of 2006, and for Platt’s, focused on energy related issues.

Melissa began her career at the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Presidential Management Intern (now referred to as Presidential Management Fellow), rotating throughout the Office of Domestic Finance and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). While here, Melissa worked on creating terrorism risk insurance, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act which enabled free credit reports, and coordinating the interagency work on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley study on financial privacy notices.

Melissa received a J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Villanova University.  She is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland.

Melissa resides in Maryland with her husband and three daughters.

Kevin O’Connor, FinCEN

Kevin O’Connor is the Chief of the Virtual Assets and Emerging Technology Section of the Enforcement and Compliance Division within the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). He manages a dynamic team of technical experts and oversees numerous complex investigations of financial institutions to ensure their compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing laws and regulations. Kevin has played a critical role in the development of regulations, standards, and best practices for the supervision of virtual assets and virtual asset service providers domestically and internationally.

In over 12 years of public service, his work has earned the Secretary of the Treasury’s Honor Award, an award from Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) for his collaborative work on virtual assets, and TFI’s Outstanding Service Award. FinCEN named Kevin its 2018 Distinguished Employee of the Year.

Kevin earned his B.A. in Political Science from Providence College, and his M.A. in Government from the American University.

Francesca Hopwood Road, Bank of International Settlements

Francesca Hopwood Road joined to lead the BIS Innovation Hub London Centre in February 2022. She previously headed up the Financial Conduct Authority’s RegTech and SupTech programme of work, leading a department of 50 data scientists, engineers, technologists and business change and comms specialists. In this role, she created a diverse and inclusive culture enabling the identification and exploration of cutting edge data science techniques and their application to financial services regulation including the world first Digital Sandbox and suite of SupTech tools. She was the inaugural Chair of the GFIN’s RegTech & SupTech programme, judged at international TechSprints and drove the vision and execution of the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint (2021).

Prior to this she worked in a variety of roles at the FCA, leading the development and delivery of new areas of work including developing early identification and insight functions. Earlier in her career she worked in the the public and private sector on issues around financial capability and inclusion from both the policy and delivery perspective.

She holds a MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck, University of London and a BA in Politics from the University of Durham.

1:25 PM – Closing Remarks by Kaitlin Asrow

1:30 PM – Event concludes


If you missed our launch, please listen to an audio recording of the two robust panel discussions.

Stay tuned for future events, and invite us to speak at yours by emailing us at [email protected]

Contact Us

Please direct questions and comments regarding this event to [email protected].