December 2020 Bios

Jerry Nickelsburg joined the UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and The Anderson Forecast in 2006. Since 2017 he has been the Director of The Anderson Forecast. He teaches economics in the MBA program with a focus on Asian economies. As the Director of The Anderson Forecast he plays a key role in the economic modeling and forecasting of the National, and California economies. He has conducted research in the areas of labor economics, industrial organization, statistics, and international monetary economics, focusing on the development of new data and the application of economic theory and statistical methods to policy issues. His current academic research is on specific skills, structural unemployment, and on energy efficiency in transportation. He is a regular presenter at Economic Conferences and is cited in the national media including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Reuters.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1980 specializing in monetary economics and econometrics. He was formerly a professor of Economics at the University of Southern California and has held executive positions with McDonnell Douglas, FlightSafety International, and FlightSafety Boeing during a fifteen-year span in the aviation business. He also held a position with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors developing forecasting tools, and has advised banks, investors and financial institutions.

From 2000 to 2006, he was the Managing Principal of Deep Blue Economics, a consulting firm he founded. He has been the recipient of the Korda Fellowship, USC Outstanding Teacher, India Chamber of Commerce Jubilee Lecturer, and he is a Fulbright Scholar. He has published over 100 scholarly and popular articles on monetary economics, economic forecasting and analysis, labor economics, and industrial organization and he is the author of two books on monetary economics and exchange rates.
William Yu joined the UCLA Anderson Forecast in 2011 as an economist. At Forecast he focuses on the economic modeling, forecasting and Los Angeles economy. He also conducts research and forecast on China’s economy, and its relationship with the US economy. His research interests include a wide range of economic and financial issues, such as time series econometrics, data analytics, housing markets, human capital, and innovation. Meanwhile, he teaches business forecasting, predictive analytics, and data science courses at UCLA Anderson School of Management and UCLA Extension. In 2019, he received the distinguished instructor award for digital technology from UCLA Extension. He also serves as a faculty advisor for Applied Management Research Program at Anderson School.

He has published over a dozen research articles in Journal of Forecasting, International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of International Money and Finance, etc. He also wrote op-ed articles in Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. He developed the City Human Capital Index, the Los Angeles City Employment Estimate, and wrote the quarterly US-China economic report. He has been cited in the local, national and overseas media frequently including Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Bloomberg, CBS Money Watch, Al Jazeera, U-T San Diego, LA Daily News, LA Daily Breeze, Straits Times, NBC, ABC, CNBC, CNN, and NPR, as well as various Chinese and Korean media. He was invited as a speaker for various events, including the annual Woo Greater China Business Conference, Cathay Bank economic outlook luncheons, and National Association for Business Economics.

He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from National Taiwan University in 1995 and was an analyst in Fubon Financial Holding in Taipei from 1997 to 2000. In 2006, he received his Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Washington where he was also an economics instructor and won two distinguished teaching awards. In 2006, he worked for the Frank Russell Investment Group for Treasury and corporate yields modeling and forecasting. From 2006 to 2011, he served as an assistant and an associate professor of economics at Winona State University where he taught courses including forecasting methods, managerial economics, international economics, and macroeconomics.
Edward Leamer is UCLA Anderson’s Chauncey J. Medberry Professor of Management and professor of economics, professor of statistics and director of the UCLA/Anderson Business Forecast Project. His philosophy on education is straightforward.

After serving as assistant and associate professor at Harvard University, Leamer joined the UCLA faculty in 1975 as professor of economics. In 1990 he moved across campus to UCLA Anderson and was appointed to the Chauncey J. Medberry Chair. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Econometric Society. In 2014 he won the award for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Economics, awarded annually by the American Antitrust Institute.

Leamer’s work has been impactful beyond the classroom and his academic research. As director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, business practitioners in every field value his opinions. For example, in his December 2000 forecast, the UCLA Anderson Forecast ( stood virtually alone in predicting the 2001 recession. In a special release on September 12, 2001, the Forecast correctly analyzed the likely unimportance of 9/11 for the evolution of the recession. In June 2002, Leamer began warning about a momentum-driven overheated housing market that was sure to cause problems for the economy in the future. In August of 2007 at the annual Federal Reserve Jackson Hole Symposium, Leamer argued for special targeting of housing in a paper titled “Housing IS the Business Cycle.”

Leamer is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been an occasional visiting scholar at the IMF and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He has served on the Councils of Economic Advisors or Governor Wilson, Governor Schwarzenegger and Mayor Garcetti. He has been on the Advisory Board of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2005-2006 he chaired a panel of the National Academy of Sciences on outsourcing and delivered the report to Commerce and to Congress.

He has published over 120 articles and five books and reminds those interested to hurry to to purchase his most recent books: either Macroeconomic Patterns and Stories, or The Craft of Economics. His research papers in econometrics have been collected in Sturdy Econometrics, published in the Edward Elgar Series of Economists of the 20th Century. His research in international economics and econometric methodology has been discussed in New Horizons in Economic Thought: Appraisals of Leading Economists.
Leila Bengali is an economist at The Anderson Forecast. She joined in 2019. As an economist, and a native Californian, she focuses on modeling the California economy and on policy issues that are relevant to California. Having studied behavioral economics both in college and in graduate school, she brings insights from this field to her work at The Anderson Forecast. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 2019 where she was selected for the Russell Sage Foundation Summer Institute in Behavioral Economics and awarded the Whitebox Advisors Doctoral Fellowship. Her fields of concentration were behavioral economics and public finance.

After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2011 with a B.A. in economic (major) and psychology (minor), she worked as an analyst at Analysis Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. During her time in economic consulting, she worked with a team of economists and experts to provide litigation support and research for major national and international companies in industries ranging from manufacturing to information technology. After working in economic consulting, Leila joined Economic Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Working with prominent economists on issues of employment, education, and economic mobility, Leila conducted research supporting U.S. monetary policy, writing reports for both internal and external audiences.

Leila's research lies at the intersection of behavioral economics and public finance. Within these fields, she focuses on how and why individuals use or ignore information when making decisions and on the resulting implications for policy. Leila has also worked with local governments to design and implement policy evaluations and has published in the field of labor economics.
Leo Feler joined the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA Anderson Forecast in 2020. He has conducted research and written articles in the areas of labor economics, urban economics, trade, banking and mergers and antitrust. He is responsible for the U.S. macroeconomic forecast.

Prior to joining UCLA, Leo worked in management consulting at Cornerstone Research and Boston Consulting Group. At Cornerstone Research, he advised the U.S. government and corporations on antitrust litigation and economic disputes. At Boston Consulting Group, he advised clients in the consumer retail industry on revenue growth and supply chain optimization strategies.

From 2010 to 2016, Leo was an assistant professor of international economics at Johns Hopkins University. He also worked at the World Bank, where he was an advisor to the country director for Brazil.

Leo received his Ph.D. in economics from Brown University in 2010, specializing in urban and labor economics; his M.A. in international policy studies from Stanford University in 2002; and his B.A. in economics and international relations from Stanford University in 2002.
Dr. Eric Hoek is a professor in UCLA’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Institute of the Environment & Sustainability and the California NanoSystems Institute. He is also faculty director of the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a campus-wide initiative to transform Los Angeles into the first sustainable megacity by 2050.

Dr. Hoek’s academic work explores the union of membrane technologies, nanomaterials and electrochemistry for a more sustainable future. He has also applied this knowledge as an entrepreneur having co-invented/founded several technology companies (e.g., NanoH2O, Water Planet, PolyCera, IntelliFlux) and as a consultant having advised various international, federal and California state agencies, municipalities, technology companies, investment funds, law firms and research funding agencies.

Dr. Hoek has worked on applications including drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, ocean and brackish water desalination, municipal and industrial water reuse, oil & gas produced water treatment, oil spill remediation, salinity gradient power, biogas production, kidney dialysis and protein purification. He has over 130 peer-reviewed scientific publications, over 70 patents filed globally, is the co-Editor-in-Chief of The Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Nature journal npj Clean Water. Dr. Hoek has a Ph.D. from Yale University, M.S. from UCLA, B.S. from Penn State and completed UCLA Anderson’s Executive Management and Director Education & Certification Programs.
Katharine Jacobs is a faculty member at the University of Arizona in the Department of Soils, Water and Environmental Science and is the Director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) within the Institute of the Environment. CCASS builds and supports climate change adaptation and assessment capacity at regional, national and international scales, based on climate science and service investments within the University. Jacobs has a broad array of applied research projects related to climate adaptation at local, regional and federal scales.

From 2010 – 2013, Jacobs served as an Assistant Director in the Executive Office of the President. Jacobs was the director of the National Climate Assessment, leading a team of 300 authors and more than a thousand contributors who wrote the Third NCA report. She also was the lead advisor on water science and policy, and climate adaptation, within the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Prior to her work in the White House, from 2006-2009 Jacobs was the Executive Director of the Arizona Water Institute, a consortium of the three state universities focused on water-related research, education and technology transfer in support of water supply sustainability. She has more than twenty years of experience as a water manager for the State of Arizona Department of Water Resources, including 14 years as director of the Tucson Active Management Area. Her research interests include water policy, connecting science and decision-making, stakeholder engagement, use of climate information for water management applications, climate change adaptation and drought planning.

Ms. Jacobs earned her M.L.A. in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served on nine National Research Council panels and was Chair of the NRC Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and a member of the panel on America’s Climate Choices.
Ellen Hanak is vice president and director of the PPIC Water Policy Center and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she holds the Ellen Hanak Chair in Water Policy. Under her leadership, the center has become a critical source of information and guidance for natural resource management in California. She has authored dozens of reports, articles, and books on water policy, including Managing California’s Water. Her research is frequently profiled in the national media, and she participates in briefings, conferences, and interviews throughout the nation and around the world. Her other areas of expertise include climate change and infrastructure finance. Previously, she served as research director at PPIC. Before joining PPIC, she held positions with the French agricultural research system, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and the World Bank. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of Maryland.
Mark Gold joined OPC in July of 2019. As Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.
David Osias’ quick intellect, attention to detail, and ability to see less obvious connections are a winning combination for clients who engage him to solve legal issues stemming from water resources and creditors’ rights—and for his colleagues who have entrusted him with the management and leadership of Allen Matkins for the past eight years.

David’s combined experience as a lawyer, whose work has ranged from iconic water rights matters to returning billions of dollars to defrauded investors in equity receiverships, and as an executive, guiding strategy, staffing, solution-based pricing, and more, provides substantive value to the clients he serves. Whether routine or novel, his clients are confident that he will find a viable approach for anything that arises. In particular, David is known for his ability to find a path for resolving unique questions—where answers are not clear-cut—or sorting peculiar facts outside of established law.

Although water resources, firm management, and creditors’ rights may seem distinctly different, they do have one thing in common—scarce resources. There's not enough water for the environment, business, and population growth. A law firm has a finite supply of talent, time, and resources to be spread among many competing goods. And, by definition, no debtor-creditor problem ever arises where there is enough money. Each is familiar territory for David, where he is adept at dividing a limited pie among unlimited expectations.
Magali Delmas is a Professor of Management at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and the Anderson School of Management.

She is the director of the UCLA Center for Corporate Environmental Performance. She was the President of the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). An organization that serves as a vehicle for advancing rigorous academic research on corporate sustainability issues.

Her research interests are primarily in the areas of Business strategy and Corporate Sustainability. Magali Delmas has written more than 90 articles, book chapters and case studies on business and the natural environment. She is the recipient of the Academy of Management/Organization and the Natural Environment Distinguished Scholar Award.

She works on developing effective information strategies to promote conservation behavior and the development of green markets. Here is a short video of her recent work on green consumers.

Her current research includes the investigation of the barriers and incentives to the adoption of energy efficient solutions.

She is also engaged in refining current methodologies to measure and communicate firm’s and products’ environmental performance.
Carla Peterman is senior vice president of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. She is responsible at the national and state levels for the company’s Regulatory Affairs, Energy and Environmental Policy, Strategic Planning, and Resource and Environmental Planning and Strategy organizations, overseeing regulatory strategy and operations and environmental affairs.

Previously, Peterman served a six-year term on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), from 2013 to 2018. She led several CPUC clean-energy initiatives, including the adoption of the nation’s first electric utility energy storage mandate, approval of $965 million of utility investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, adoption of utility energy-efficiency goals, and the continued implementation of California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard.

Before her CPUC appointment, Peterman served on the California Energy Commission, where she was the lead commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas. She also is a former board member of The Utility Reform Network, an organization that represents consumers before the CPUC and California Legislature.

She was appointed in 2019 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to chair the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, which played a critical role in developing recommendations that led to passage of legislation that holds utilities accountable for reducing wildfire risks from their equipment and encourages a financially stable electric industry.

Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Science and Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University.

Peterman serves on the external advisory board for Sandia National Laboratories’ Energy and Homeland Security Portfolio. She has also served on the board of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, was a member of the California Broadband Council, and served as Chair of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative.
Alex Bernhardt is a Director in the Marsh & McLennan Advantage group. He is responsible for developing innovative strategies across Marsh & McLennan’s businesses to address some of the largest issues facing society in the 21st century. Previously, Alex worked at two of the company’s businesses – Mercer and Guy Carpenter.

Most recently Alex ran Mercer’s Responsible Investment team in North America. In this role he regularly led environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration exercises with the boards and investment committees of institutional investors of all types and sizes while driving innovation in environmental and social risk management. Alex was a lead contributor to Mercer’s Investing in a Time of Climate Change research in 2015 and 2019 and (co)-led related consulting arrangements with institutional investors across North America with over $800B of portfolio assets.

Prior to joining Mercer, Alex was a Senior Vice President at Guy Carpenter where he founded and ran the firm's GC Micro Risk Solutions® division focused on designing and developing index-based micro(re)insurance programs for development banks, microfinance institutions and insurers. Additionally, he supported the firm's broader growth efforts advising public and private risk-bearing entities on a variety of issues with a focus on disaster risk management, energy liability and credit risk. In this capacity Alex co-led the Flood Insurance Risk Study, an in-depth year-long project for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) focused on researching the global capacity for catastrophic flood reinsurance, options for flood insurance privatization in the US and the NFIP's capital adequacy.

Alex is an honors graduate of the University of Puget Sound (BA) and is often quoted in financial industry press. He maintains his Series 7 and 63 securities licenses and has achieved Associate of Reinsurance, Associate of Insurance Services and Associate of Risk Management for Public Entities accreditations from The Institutes. He has also received recognition for his work across (re)insurance and investment markets: he was ranked as one of the top 20 most influential individual consultants globally in the Sustainable and Responsible Investing category by the Independent Research in Responsible Investment (IRRI) Survey 2017; he was designated a Rising Star by Reactions magazine in 2011 and; he was designated a Power Broker® by Risk & Insurance magazine also in 2011.
As Managing Director, Global Environmental Affairs and Sustainability at United Airlines, Lauren is responsible for leading United’s efforts in environmental compliance, waste, water and energy management, sustainable aviation fuel, and overall environmental sustainability strategy. These initiatives are designed to support United’s goal of achieving a 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050.

Lauren is a business leader focused on the relationship between innovation and environmental sustainability. With 20 years consulting experience, Lauren has led a variety of initiatives addressing business and digital transformation, strategic planning, and change management that yield environmental and operational benefit.

Lauren has earned her MBA from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental science from Bucknell University. She is a certified Change Management Advanced Practitioner through Georgetown University and PMP Certified.
Nora Pankratz is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Los Angeles (Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Policy and Luskin Center for Innovation) and she is interested in how firms and investors respond to changing environments. Her current research focuses on Economic Adaptation and the Financial Economics of Climate Change.

She holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Maastricht University (The Netherlands) and has visited Toulouse School of Economics (France), Rotman School of Management in Toronto (Canada), and 427 Climate Solutions in Berkeley, California (United States) during the 4-year program. Moreover, she has taught Corporate Finance, Financial Economics, and Business Ethics at the graduate/undergraduate level.

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