From Retail Banking to Cryptocurrency: Solutions Architect Wadeeha Jackson’s Career Journey

Meet Wadeeha Jackson—a Solutions Architect at Hummingbird, who has an extensive background in Anti-Money Laundering (AML), regulatory sanctions, and risk mitigation.

Wadeeha’s career started in retail banking at HSBC Bank, Merrill Lynch, Citi, and TD Bank auditing compliance programs. Later, she became Head of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for Sardine, a cryptocurrency company. There, she created ways to prevent money laundering and monitored transactions for their payment system. Throughout her journey, Wadeeha has always been passionate about mentoring and helping others achieve success, which led her to spearhead initiatives to elevate underrepresented banking professionals. Today, Wadeeha is dedicated to Hummingbird, a CRM case management solutions provider designed to fight financial crime with the support of technology.

We asked Wadeeha about her career background, the most rewarding part of her current role, and the advice she would give someone starting out on the journey she’s on.

Q: Tell us about your career background. How has it led you to where you are today?

A: My experience has been focused in the areas of Anti-Money Laundering (AML), regulatory sanctions, and risk mitigation. I started my career working for investment retail banking institutions auditing the operational effectiveness of compliance programs. 

In 2017, I branched out into the area of cryptocurrency, working with companies like Paxos and Coinbase. I served as the Head of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for Sardine and developed the AML/Sanctions Compliance and transaction monitoring typologies for their payment on-ramp for decentralized applications and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Currently, I serve as a Solutions Architect at Hummingbird, a CRM case management solutions provider designed to fight financial crime with the support of financial technologies. 

Q: What’s the most impactful career experience you’ve ever had, and how does it impact your work to date?

A: There are few things more important to me than truly showing the next generation what’s possible. And it’s not just about how to climb the professional ladder—it’s about providing the foundation of success. My passion for mentoring spills into my professional career in many ways. For example, when I worked at TD Bank, I spearheaded an initiative to elevate underrepresented banking professionals through a one-day career growth event. We hosted a panel discussion, resume-building workshop, and networking forum to provide women and diverse professionals the necessary tools they need for success.  

Q: What piece of advice has played the biggest role in your career so far?

A: I’ll never forget the day my aunt dropped me off on campus for my freshman year at North Carolina Central University. As I stepped out of the car, she said to me, “When you climb to a certain place, you look down and you pull another person up.”

Since that moment, I have made it my life’s mission to lift others up. Whether that means donating my time to youth advocacy work, sharing my knowledge on professional panels, hosting career forums, or lending advice to a friend, I am deeply committed to expanding my reach and supporting as many people as I can.

Q: What problem does Hummingbird solve? 

A: Hummingbird’s solutions are designed and built for the unsung heroes of the financial industry—making compliance work simpler and more effective. Since Hummingbird’s launch in 2017, the world of finance has become infinitely more complex. There is a renewed focus on what money means and how it moves. Understanding this pain point, we have developed innovative and award-winning solutions, like the Investigation Canvas, to put all compliance casework under one roof, reducing cumbersome paperwork, providing insightful analytics, and enabling collaboration between compliance professionals and law enforcement agents.

Q: What is the most rewarding part about your current role?

A: At Hummingbird, we come from diverse professional backgrounds and cultures with a shared mission and purpose in mind: helping compliance professionals fight financial crime. That’s the most rewarding part of my job. Also, creative collaboration is a powerful way of working, and you see that a lot at Hummingbird—it’s what makes me love what I do. From business to product to our technology departments, we work together to determine how we can best solve our customers’ challenges and make their jobs easier. 

Q: What does your current day-to-day look like?

A: Day to day, I am an advocate for our customers, ensuring that we are aligning our products with their needs. I also spend a lot of time working with our sales team to show prospective customers how Hummingbird not only fits into their compliance and regulatory programs, but can streamline complex investigations to save time, energy, and resources.  

I am an industry advocate for innovative solutions, and my current role allows me to lean into my passion for advocacy and mentorship by being a voice for our customers. 

Q: What’s something you do outside of work that makes you a better leader?

A: I cannot answer this question without bringing up one of my proudest moments. It came in 2019. At the time, I was the President of National Cares Mentoring Movement, a youth advocacy group. Because of our work to mentor, teach, guide, and support young kids, we were invited to ring the bell at Nasdaq. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, but I quickly realized that it was even more special for the Black women and girls who were watching. They saw a successful Black woman at the center of Times Square, proving that it doesn’t matter what shape, size, or color you are—you can do and be anything you want.

The state of U.S. Crypto Report found that 75 percent of crypto owners are men. I truly believe that increased diversity in fintech will spur solutions that are more inclusive. If we don’t focus on diversifying the industry, we will stifle change and innovation for the next generation. That has pushed me to become a founding member of the Association of Women in Crypto. Our mission is to educate women about the freedom in decentralized finance and help underrepresented populations optimize the impact of blockchain to achieve financial independence. 

With my passion for mentoring, youth advocacy, and workforce inclusivity, it has allowed me to become a better leader, someone who listens to, cares for, and guides those embarking on the same journey. 

Q: What advice would you give someone starting out on the journey you’re on?

A: I’ve always believed in the saying, “Always a student, sometimes a teacher, but never an expert.” Be committed to learning everything you can and sharing your knowledge to lift up the next generation of leaders. 

Wadeeha is a member of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community that amplifies extraordinary women entrepreneurs and leaders by raising their profile through PR, forging authentic connections, and curating high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and get involved here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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