Stephen Friedman is a Peabody and Emmy award-winning creator of social impact campaigns. He advises the CEO of MTV Entertainment Group (including Comedy Central, Paramount and the Smithsonian Channel) and serves as a senior advisor to SYPartners. He also teaches “Storytelling and the Art of Creating Social Impact Campaigns” at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

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,” “Teen Wolf” and “Awkward.” During his 18 years at MTV, he created the social impact department, launched mtvU and led MTV2 and LOGO to record-high ratings. 

In his role as creator of social impact campaigns, Stephen led “Choose or Lose” in partnership with Rock The Vote. He developed campaigns that addressed genocide in Darfur and the stigma around mental health. His sexual health campaign, “It’s Your (Sex) Life” increased STD testing nationally. In addition, Stephen partnered with the National Campaign to End Teen Pregnancy ensuring that the hit shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” were cautionary tales. The National Bureau of Economic Research credited these series with helping to drive the steep decline in teen birth rates. 

Stephen serves on the Board of Directors for the Genocide Survivors Foundation and All Out. He is also on the advisory boards of Public Allies and Sidekicks, an AI social impact business. Stephen holds a B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University.