2019 Merit Award Winner 

  Ellen R. Alemany

Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group

  Ellen R. Alemany is chairwoman and chief executive officer of CIT Group and chairwoman, CEO and president of CIT Bank, N.A., the company’s bank subsidiary. She was named CEO in April 2016, became chairwoman in May 2016 and is leading CIT’s evolution as a leading national bank that empowers businesses and personal savers.


Alemany formerly headed The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Americas, the management structure that oversees RBS' businesses in the Americas. She also served as chairman and CEO for RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Prior to RBS, she served as CEO for Global Transaction Services at Citigroup. Alemany held a number of senior positions during her tenure at Citigroup, including executive vice president for Commercial Business and president and CEO of CitiCapital. She also held a number of executive positions in Citigroup's Global Corporate Bank, including customer group executive of North American markets, global industry head of Media and Communications, U.S. industry head of Consumer Products, and customer group executive for the Global Relationship Bank in Europe, based in London. 

Alemany received her MBA in finance from Fordham University. She serves on the boards of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., The Center for Discovery, Operation HOPE and the Partnership for New York City. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Board of Trustees for The Conference Board.  

2019 Betty Cook Award Winner  

K. Cunningham

Maura is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Rock The Street, Wall Street - a financial literacy program designed to spark high school girls’ interest in pursuing finance careers. After spending 25+ years in the financial industry, Maura was eager to turn her attention to getting more girls interested in their financial independence and introduce them to careers in finance.


Since its inception in 2013, more than 1,750 girls across 13 U.S. cities, coast to coast, have graduated from the year-long program that includes classroom financial hands-on project workshops, a “Wall Street” experience field trip and a mentorship program. Every single classroom instructor and mentor are female financial professionals who volunteer to lead the Rock the Street, Wall Street programs, and are instrumental in shaping girls’ perceptions of finance careers. If they can see it, they can be it.


Born and raised in NYC, Maura’s financial career started on Wall Street with Merrill Lynch. She worked in a variety of roles throughout the industry, including real estate syndication, unit investment trusts, taxable fixed income capital markets and built a successful practice advising high net-worth families on family business succession. She keeps current with the markets by trading index options.