Stephen Friedman

Advisor, Societal Impact

Stephen is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning creator of social impact campaigns who partners with CEOs, executive teams and philanthropists to tackle some of the biggest social challenges we face.

Previously, Stephen was the President of MTV for seven years. He spearheaded MTV’s transformation into the cultural home of the millennial generation with more top-rated series for young viewers than any other network – including “Catfish,” “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and “Awkward.” During his 18 years at the network, he created MTV’s social impact department, launched mtvU and led MTV2, MTV.com and LOGO to record highs.

Friedman developed the “Choose or Lose” in partnership with Rock the Vote, and campaigns that addressed genocide in Darfur, stigma around mental health, bias and the “It’s Your (Sex) Life” campaign – which helped increase STD testing nationally. Friedman partnered with the National Campaign to End Teen pregnancy to ensure the shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” were cautionary tales. The National Bureau of Economic Research credited both series with driving one-third of the recent steep decline in the teen birth rate, which now stands at a record low.

Before joining MTV, Friedman served as a Director for the PEN American Center – the international writers’ human rights organization. Friedman is on the advisory boards of Mic (Mic.com), the media company focused on millennials and journalist Ron Suskind’s AI social impact business, Sidekicks. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Genocide Survivors Foundation and True North Media. Friedman holds a B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University.