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Launch team



Mark Leiter (Chairman)
Chief Strategy Officer, Nielsen


Jonathan Spector (Vice Chairman)
Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board


John Lewis
President, Nielsen — Americas Region


Bart van Ark
Chief Economist & Chief Strategy Officer, The Conference Board




Louise Keely

Louise Keely is President of The Demand Institute. She is a founding member of the organization and most recently served as Chief Research Officer. Louise concurrently serves as a Senior Vice President at Nielsen, one of The Demand Institute's sponsoring organizations. Prior to joining The Demand Institute, Louise was a leader at The Cambridge Group, a Nielsen division that specializes in helping Fortune 500 companies drive growth strategies that are grounded in a deep understanding of consumer demand.

Before joining The Cambridge Group in 2005, Louise was a faculty member of the Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a research fellow in economics at Oxford University and at the Brookings Institution. She has published articles in several peer-reviewed economics journals. Louise started her career as a management consultant with Bain & Company in Boston.

Louise is the co-author of The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand (2012) and A Tale of 2000 Cities: how the sharp contrast between successful and struggling communities is reshaping America (2014). A noted expert and speaker on the topic of consumer demand, Louise's perspectives have been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, including Bloomberg, CNNMoney, NPR, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Louise earned a PhD in economics and an MSc in econometrics from the London School of Economics, where she began graduate studies as a Marshall Scholar. Louise earned a BSc, summa cum laude, in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Mark Abboushi
Vice President

Mark Abboushi is a Vice President at Nielsen and is focused on leading key research programs within The Demand Institute. Prior to this role, Mark was responsible for Nielsen’s product innovation and custom market research work for Unilever. Mark has 20 years of experience helping companies drive high-impact strategic market research.

He has held senior leadership roles within the market research teams at American Express and Merrill Lynch, where he was responsible for guiding a full range of strategic consumer research that uncovered demand for new products and services. Earlier in his career, Mark worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company as part of McKinsey’s branding, marketing and marketing science practices. He started his career at National Analysts, which was the strategic research arm of Booz Allen & Hamilton before becoming an independent firm.

Mark holds a PhD and MA in Social Psychology from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a BA and MA in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.

Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson is a Manager at The Demand Institute.  Prior to this role, Brian was a member of The Cambridge Group’s consulting team, a division of Nielsen focusing on consumer-driven demand strategy for leading corporations.  He was responsible for developing and executing proprietary intellectual capital to help clients drive profitable growth, with an emphasis on advanced statistical techniques and consumer research. 

Before joining The Cambridge Group, Brian was a graduate student at Northwestern University, studying macroeconomics and macro-econometrics.  He has a MA in Economics from Northwestern University, and a BS in Economics, with distinction, and a BS in Mathematics from The University of Washington.

Jeremy Burbank
Vice President, Nielsen

Jeremy Burbank is a Vice President at Nielsen, and is focused on building Nielsen’s strategic alliance with The Conference Board. Jeremy joined Nielsen’s Consumer Research group in 2010 where he was a Director of Client Service with responsibility for leading custom marketing research initiatives on behalf of Nielsen clients. He is an experienced researcher with a strong background in custom analytics and marketing strategy, including market segmentation, branding, new product forecasting and marketing ROI.   He has worked with leading companies and organizations in Consumer Products, Financial Services, Energy, Pharmaceuticals, and Not-for-Profit. Prior to joining Nielsen, Jeremy was a Vice President with Copernicus Marketing Consulting & Research.   Jeremy holds a B.S. from the University of Oregon, and an M.B.A. from Boston University, where he graduated with high honors.

Ben Cheng
Associate Economist

Ben Cheng is an Associate Economist at The Demand Institute, and has specialized in data-driven research on a variety of topics including global productivity, U.S. labor markets, and consumer demand. In 2011, Ben received the National Association for Business Economics’ Edmund A. Mennis Contributed Paper Award for his work in analyzing delayed retirement among U.S. workers. Ben holds an MA in Statistics from Columbia University, and a BA in Economics and Mathematics from New York University.

Nic Covey
Executive Director, United Nations Relationships

Nic Covey is a member of The Demand Institute’s senior leadership team and has responsibility for leading all United Nations relationships for both The Demand Institute and Nielsen, worldwide.  He is spearheading Project EIGHT: an innovative public-private partnership that will ultimately help governments, NGOs, foundations and the global business community prepare to meet the basic human needs of a planet containing 8 billion people in 2030. 

Nic began his career in consumer media and technology research and most recently created and led Nielsen’s global corporate sustainability program, Nielsen CARES, helping Nielsen leverage its unique assets to expand its social impact and reduce its environmental impact across more than 100 countries.  Nic is the author of numerous Nielsen reports including, most recently, “Consumers Who Care.”  He holds a B.A. in History and Communication from Denison University and serves on the school’s alumni board.

Lynn Franco

Lynn Franco is director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. She produces several monthly and quarterly reports that track both general and consumer economic trends, including the widely followed Consumer Confidence Index®. Lynn directs the business confidence survey program for The Conference Board and produces the quarterly periodical CEO Confidence Survey. She also produces The Conference Board Consumer Internet Barometer™, a quarterly report created in collaboration with TNS that surveys 10,000 households across the United States to track who is doing what on the internet. She frequently addresses business audiences on economic and demographic trends and is interviewed and quoted regularly by national and global media, including the major broadcast networks, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Associated Press. Franco holds degrees from St. John’s University and New York University.

Gad Levanon

Gad Levanon is Director of Macroeconomic Research and Consumer Research at The Conference Board, where he additionally leads the labor markets program. He concurrently serves on the Demand Institute leadership team.

As an expert in economic and labor market indicators, Gad created The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, a widely used measure that fills the need for a leading index of employment. He specializes in conducting research that aims to contribute to the understanding of labor markets developments, as well as help business executives succeed in their roles. Some of the topics he covers in his research are compensation growth, retirement trends, labor shortages, labor productivity and future trends in employment and unemployment.

Gad is the principal writer of The Conference Board's Labor Markets in Review, a quarterly publication documenting the main trends in labor markets across the globe. He also writes a popular blog on labor markets in The Conference Board Human Capital Exchange. Gad has been extensively published in academic and professional journals as well as in reports published by The Conference Board.

The National Association of Business Economics has twice named Gad as the winner of its best contributed paper award, including the prestigious Mennis award.

Gad holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University, and as a native of Israel, he holds undergraduate and master's degrees from Tel Aviv University. From 1996 to 1998 he worked at the Israeli Central Bank where he participated in the analysis of financial markets and monetary policy.

June Shelp
Vice President, The Conference Board

June Shelp is Vice President, Centers and Strategic Initiatives, at The Conference Board. She provides direction for a number of Centers, including the Governance Center and the Sustainability Center as well as directing new initiatives and special projects.  Under her direction, The Conference Board developed The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series, a data series on labor demand that is the only nationally recognized economic data series on occupational labor demand to cover metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

June’s career spans government, education, and the private sector. She served as finance director for New York State’s Housing Finance Agency, where she developed several new financing programs. Her background in business development includes working with New York State on international business development and, in the private sector, consulting for major corporations, including Westvaco, Rohm and Haas, and Appleton. June began her career as an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She holds a master’s degree in labor & industrial relations and economics from Michigan State University and a BA from the University of Texas.