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Launch team

Mark Leiter (Chairman)
Chief Strategy Officer, Nielsen
Jonathan Spector
Vice Chairman, Board of Directors

Jonathan Spector is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Conference Board and serves as Vice Chairman of The Demand Institute.

Jon joined The Conference Board after serving as Vice Dean of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While at The Wharton School he was responsible for the significant growth and strategic repositioning of the school’s executive education activities, and for strengthening Wharton’s involvement in book publishing, globalization, and collaborations across the university.

Jon began his career at McKinsey & Company, where he spent 20 years and was elected a senior partner. He founded and managed the firm’s Taipei office, and helped lead McKinsey’s North American electronics practice.  He subsequently served as the chief executive of two startup technology companies.

Jon is the co-author of We Are Smarter Than Me (2007), which highlights the ways in which businesses can harness the power of collective intelligence. The book resulted from an experiment in which thousands of participants pooled their knowledge and create a book manuscript.

Jon serves on the board of directors of The Conference Board of Canada, the March of Dimes Foundation and the Business Committee for the Arts. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Wesleyan University, where he earned his BA in math/economics with honors.  Jon received his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

John Lewis
Board of Directors

John Lewis serves as President of the Americas of Nielsen and serves on the Board of Directors of The Demand Institute. At Nielsen, John is responsible for the management, business performance and strategic direction of Nielsen's Consumer Group in the United States and Canada. John is also responsible for leading our largest global client relationships for all clients headquartered in North America.

From 1994 to 1999, John served as Executive Vice President, Marketing at Nielsen. During his tenure, he improved the marketing function, accelerated product development, helped restore the company’s competitive leadership position, and launched new products. John rejoined Nielsen as President and CEO of the United States division in January 2006.

John returned to Nielsen from his role as President and CEO of Knowledge Networks, a venture-backed marketing information company. Knowledge Networks is a leader in the online marketing survey research space. John led the company from start-up to a growing leader in this segment of the industry.

Prior to Knowledge Networks, John ran another venture-backed start-up as President and CEO of SMS Technology, an innovative provider of packaging to the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. Earlier in his career, John was one of the first employees of The NutraSweet Company, where he held a number of executive positions including General Manager of the Consumer Products Division and Chief Marketing Officer.

John holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Princeton University.

Bart van Ark
Board of Directors

Bart van Ark is Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of The Conference Board.  He serves on the Board of Directors of The Demand Institute and The National Bureau of Economic Research.  

He leads a team of economists who produce a range of widely watched economic indicators and growth forecasts, as well as in-depth global economic research. Bart is an expert in international comparative studies of economic performance, productivity, and innovation.

As a consulting director of international economic research for The Conference Board for 10 years, he was responsible for its annual flagship publication on productivity and instrumental in helping to expand its comparative analytical capabilities to include productivity and labor- and consumer-market research across countries and regions. Bart leads the longstanding research collaboration of The Conference Board with the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. As a professor there since 2000, he holds the university’s chair in Economic Development, Technological Change and Growth.

He has participated in international research projects such as the Productivity Research Program of the McKinsey Global Institute. Bart has been extensively published in national and international journals, including the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Economic Policy, the Review of Income and Wealth, and The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. He is a member of the editorial boards of several academic journals and serves on various advisory committees in the areas of productivity and national accounts.

Bart obtained his Master’s and PhD degrees in economics from the University of Groningen. From 1988 to 1990 he worked as a research associate with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (U.K.).

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.

Kathy Bostjancic

Kathy Bostjancic holds a dual appointment as the Director for Macroeconomic Analysis at The Conference Board and at The Demand Institute. A specialist in the U.S. economy and financial markets, she is a member of the team that produces the U.S. economic forecast and global outlook for The Conference Board.

She oversees and is a regular participant in The Conference Board Economics Watch™ webcasts and frequently briefs member firms and larger audiences on the economic outlook. Kathy also appears regularly on Bloomberg Radio and TV, and in the financial press. Her recent publications include Economic Growth in the EU in the Age of Globalization: Issues and Policies, in which she and chief economist Bart van Ark examine the short-run and long-term economic outlooks for the major global economies and the potential impact of global fiscal stimulus packages.

Kathy was previously senior director, U.S. economist, at Merrill Lynch. She holds an MA in economics from New York University and a BA from Rutgers College.

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.

Rhonda Horn
Senior Vice President

Rhonda Horn is a Senior Vice President at The Demand Institute. Rhonda has over 20 years experience helping executives in consumer-driven industries capitalize on the value of consumer insights and information. Before joining The Demand Institute, Rhonda Horn was Senior Vice President at Mosaic, which delivers innovative solutions to help Fortune 100 corporations connect with consumers in the community and in the store.

Previously, she was Group Vice President in the Nielsen North American Consumer Business -- a $1 billion business with over 4,000 associates serving leading manufacturers and retailers. Nielsen is the world's leading company at understanding what consumer watch and what they buy around the World, and the North American consumer business brings these insights together for senior executives. Earlier in her career, Rhonda was in the non-profit sector, as Senior Vice President at UCCnet, which developed strategic and tactical programs for 26 industries under the Uniform Code Council. Rhonda holds a B.S., Business Administration from Northeastern 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.