Woman of the Year 2022 Winner: Lisa Chan, Airbnb

Published: Jul 2022


Photo of Lisa Chan, Airbnb.

Lisa Chan

Director of Global Treasury

Lisa Chan is the Director of Global Treasury for Airbnb and Treasury Today’s 2022 Woman of the Year recipient. Based on the US West Coast Lisa works for an organisation that, doubtlessly, most of us will be familiar with and that specialises in offering home stays and lodging through a technology platform that connects hosts with guests across the world.

As an Asian American woman in the workplace, Lisa understands the struggle within most corporations as they seek to address issues of diversity, inclusion and gender equality and to address a lack of representation at the most senior levels. She is described by those who work with and for her as a modest and humble leader within her organisation and within the field of treasury. Lisa’s commitment to having a diverse and inclusive team connects to her conviction that this in turn leads to a most robust, dedicated and creative staff.

Thinking outside of the box during hiring practice is something that Lisa has specifically chosen to focus on. Looking beyond mere qualifications in her search for innate talent, Lisa believes in giving people a chance. In order for treasury to become more diverse, Lisa believes that hiring outside of the usual avenues should become a more routine practice. Knowing what to look for when hiring people and understanding how to approach this as a leader is an essential skill of the modern treasury leader, like Lisa.

In the early days of Lisa’s career, she was mentored by a colleague around career opportunities and personal growth, and Lisa remains a committed mentor. She currently serves as the Treasurer of the Asians@ employee affinity group at Airbnb, a group that is dedicated to fostering a community amongst the Asian employee population by hosting events and mentoring.

I am incredibly humbled to have won this award. I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful team members I’ve been fortunate to work with at Airbnb over the years and for which I am so grateful.

The Woman of the Year award is an accolade awarded to those who see the value of treasury and of female leadership inside and outside of their organisations. Lisa’s commitment to providing enrichment opportunities for the broader finance team also sees her serve as part of the committee for Airbnb’s Finance University. This group has the goal of furthering the financial education of Airbnb’s employees and Lisa is involved with establishing the curriculum.

When Lisa joined Airbnb in 2014, she was the sole employee within their treasury department. She has overseen an evolution to a treasury department now with a team of nine reporting into her.

The last two years have posed challenges to most leaders. In times of crisis, Lisa believes that it is imperative to take care of our teams and our communities. Lisa, in our opinion, represents a modern kind of leader who should act as an inspiration to the industry. During the pandemic few industries were as affected as the industry in which Airbnb operates, hospitality and tourism. With cancellations across the board, the platform faced immense challenges which resulted in cash monitoring and reporting at an intense level for Lisa and her team. Then, with the end of the pandemic in sight, Airbnb’s treasury had to ready itself to prepare for an IPO. Managing the day-to-day challenges posed by the pandemic and the subsequent IPO by the company, together with managing a team that was adapting to working from home and the host of adjustments that the pandemic caused for people personally and professionally.

Lisa’s commitment to the cause of equality and inclusion, coupled with the winning example of her leadership and approach to her career, make her a most worthy winner of our 2022 Woman of the Year award. We look forward to seeing what she will do next and to hearing more about her career journey and advice for the community.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2022 awards attracted 230 nominations spanning 34 countries. To find out more please visit:

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