Tracy Stephan, Fannie Mae vice president of enterprise innovation

When Tracy Stephan was asked to define a process at Fannie Mae to help address housing issues in a radical new way, she established a team to research, test and apply emerging technologies, collaborating with startups and fintech companies outside of the housing industry.

Stephan pivots quickly, rejects ideas that don’t match strategic goals, and pairs good ideas with disciplined execution to turn validated concepts into business outcomes. Examples of her team’s success this year include the launch of a public data and application programming interface platform, The Exchange, Ask Poli, an artificial intelligence and natural language search tool and The Pitch, an internal crowd-sourcing platform for employees to submit and vote on ideas and receive funding and support to scale the best ones. Stephan’s efforts helped embed a structured process for innovation. 

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