Image of Christine Riordan with people in the background, blurred

Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D.

Adelphi University
Award Winner
2021 District II Chief Executive Leadership Award


Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D., is the 10th President of Adelphi University and the first woman to serve in the role. She is a recognized expert in leadership development, team building, and diversity and inclusion, and is well-known for her groundbreaking initiatives to personalize and transform the higher education experience.

Upon her appointment, Dr. Riordan worked with the Adelphi community to create a new strategic plan, Momentum, that led to a 10 percent gain in enrollment in its first five years and admission of the four largest and most diverse first-year classes in the University’s history. Under her leadership, Adelphi has launched 35 new degree and accelerated dual-degree programs, been honored with numerous national awards, and achieved multimillion-dollar surpluses following years of deficits. Her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic upheld Adelphi’s firm financial footing and preserved its strong S&P rating.

Dr. Riordan is the current chair of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York, and treasurer of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE). She serves on the board of the Long Island Association (LIA) and is past chair of the President’s Council for the Northeast-10 Conference, currently serving on the conference’s executive committee. She also serves on the board of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc., (NYSE:RMAX) and is a member of the President’s Advisory Council at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Riordan previously served as provost of the University of Kentucky and as dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. She has published nearly 70 academic and business press articles, and her work has been cited more than 5,400 times by other authors. Dr. Riordan is currently authoring Shift Happens, a book about succeeding in a changing workplace.