March 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.
David Shulman is Distinguished Visiting Professor and a “Managing Director” at the Financial Leadership Program at Baruch College where he mentors students seeking front-office careers on Wall Street, and a Visiting Scholar/Senior Economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast where he is responsible for U.S. Macro. In addition, he is currently Managing Member of his LLC where he is engaged in investment and litigation consulting. He comments on his blog,

In March 2005, he retired from Lehman Brothers where he was Managing Director and Head REIT analyst. From 2001-04 he was voted on the Institutional Investor All Star Teams including First Team in 2002. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 2000 he was a Member and Senior Vice President at Ulysses Management LLC (1998-99) an investment manager of a private investment partnership and an offshore corporation whose total investment capital approximated $1 billion at the end of 1999.

From 1986-1997, Mr. Shulman was employed by Salomon Brothers Inc in various capacities. He was Director of Real Estate Research from 1987-91 and Chief Equity Strategist from 1992-97. In the latter capacity he was responsible for developing the Firm’s overall equity market view and maintaining the Firm’s list of recommended stocks. Mr. Shulman was widely quoted in the print and electronic media and he coined the terms “Goldilocks Economy” and “New Paradigm Economy”. In 1991, he was named a Managing Director and in 1990 he won the first annual Graaskamp Award for Excellence in Real Estate Research from the Pension Real Estate Association.

Prior to joining Salomon Brothers Inc., he was Vice President and Director of Research Planning at TCW Realty Advisors in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career Mr. Shulman was an academic. He was an Associate Professor of Management and Economics at the University of California at Riverside and Financial Economist at the UCLA Business Forecasting Project. In 2017, the David Shulman Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award Fund was established by a former student of his.

A graduate of Baruch College (1964), Mr. Shulman received his Ph.D. (1975) with a specialization in Finance and a M.B.A. (1966) from the UCLA Graduate School of Management. He is married and has three grown children.
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.
Dr. John C. Mazziotta has been Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health since 2015. A member of the David Geffen School of Medicine faculty since 1983, Dr. Mazziotta also has served as Dean of the medical school, Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and Executive Vice Dean. In addition, he was chair of the Department of Neurology and founding director of the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center.

Dr. Mazziotta earned his MD and PhD in neuroanatomy and computer science from Georgetown University. Following an internship at Georgetown, he completed neurology and nuclear medicine training at UCLA.

Dr. Mazziotta has published more than 260 research papers and eight texts. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Oldendorf Award from the American Society of Neuroimaging, the S. Weir Mitchell Award and the Wartenberg Prize of the American Academy of Neurology, and the Von Hevesy Prize from the International Society of Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Mazziotta has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians.
Johnese Spisso was appointed to the position of President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences on February 8, 2016. She is a nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with more than 30 years of experience, and oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system's regional outreach strategy.

Before coming to UCLA, Spisso spent 20 years at UW Medicine, in Seattle, Washington, where she was chief health system officer and vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington. While there, she played a major role in expanding collaborations with regional hospitals and in the operational integration of two major community hospitals into UW Medicine. She also helped to lead development of a statewide trauma system.

Trained as a registered nurse, Spisso rose through the ranks at UC Davis Medical Center to direct critical care; trauma, burn and emergency services; and the Life Flight Air-Medical Program. Before that, she was a critical-care nurse in the medical, surgical and transplant intensive care unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian.

Spisso received a master’s degree in health care administration and public administration from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Chapman College. She received her nursing degree at the St. Francis School of Nursing. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on healthcare leadership.
During his 25 years at UCLA Anderson, Dean Antonio “Tony” Bernardo estimates he’s taught more than 5,000 students. Bernardo says some of the best moments are when students walk into his office to dig deeper into a business issue — to learn beyond the classroom material. “Everyone on the faculty I know loves meeting with a hard-working, motivated student,” he says.

In 2019, Bernardo was appointed UCLA Anderson’s ninth dean, effective July 1.

Bernardo’s research spans various areas of corporate finance. His recent research on bailouts provided a set of policy recommendations to lawmakers looking to design bailouts for distressed firms. His current research looks at optimal capital structures, or how much debt and equity financing a firm should have. It suggests that capital structure decisions are determined, in part, by the debt choices other firms in the industry are making.

Another area Bernardo is exploring involves optimal compensation of doctors, and designing compensation systems for health providers. “I tend to work on topics that are very diverse,” Bernardo says. “I learn a lot that way.”

In addition to having an impressive list of published papers and working papers, as well as receiving numerous teaching awards, Bernardo serves as associate editor of the Critical Finance Review and Financial Management.
Dr. Elaine Batchlor is the chief executive officer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which opened in 2015. Dr. Batchlor was the driving force behind the effort to open the new, state-of-the-art, community-oriented, safety-net hospital providing compassionate, quality care and improving the health of the South Los Angeles community.

Throughout her career, Dr. Batchlor’s number one priority has been to improve access and quality of care for underserved communities utilizing innovative and collaborative approaches. Her work to increase access for underserved populations has been recognized as an example of leading best practices and adopted throughout California.

Before assuming the helm of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, Dr. Batchlor served on the executive leadership team of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public health plan. As chief medical officer, she was instrumental in developing a care delivery model that expanded access and resources to more than a million individuals throughout the county.

She spearheaded provider use of information technology and telemedicine to improve access and quality of care for Los Angeles County’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) population. Under her leadership, L.A. Care established the Health Information Technology Extension Center, becoming the second health plan in the nation to operate a Regional Extension Center to help safety-net providers adopt and use electronic health records. She implemented eConsult, an innovative electronic physician-to-specialist consultation and referral system, for Los Angeles County community health centers and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Prior to L.A. Care, Dr. Batchlor served in leadership positions at the California HealthCare Foundation, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Prudential Health Care, and Ross Loos Medical Group. Early in her career she served as a clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Dr. Batchlor is an active community volunteer, serving on multiple community and healthcare boards. She has a particular interest in mentoring youth. She regularly meets with students, from high school through professional school, who are interested in careers in healthcare. Formerly, she served on advisory boards for the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, the UCLA National Clinical Scholars, and the UCLA Academic Advancement Program Advisory Council. A Harvard alumna, Dr. Batchlor serves as an interviewer for Harvard College applicants and as a liaison to a local high school.

She served as the past chair and is currently on the board of the Integrated Healthcare Association. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the boards of directors of the Healthcare Quality Institute and California Health and Wellness, and the editorial board of Health Affairs, the leading peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research.

Dr. Batchlor received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Medicine degree from Case Western Reserve University. She completed internship, residency, and fellowship training in internal medicine and rheumatology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and is board-certified in both specialties.

She is married to a lawyer who has spent his career representing indigent clients, currently working for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. The couple has twin boys.
Bio coming soon.
Associate Professor Elisa Long’s research integrates epidemiological modeling, economic analysis and decision making under uncertainty, with the aim of assessing the value of health interventions to help policymakers allocate limited resources most effectively. She has constructed mathematical models to simulate HIV epidemics in Russia, India, South Africa, Ghana and the United States, with the goal of identifying what combination of investments maximizes “bang for the buck.”

Long’s research on the cost-effectiveness of HIV screening was cited by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their revised recommendations for increased screening of high-risk individuals. She recently published a study that optimizes resource allocation for emerging epidemics, and examined the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa to determine which regions should receive treatment priority (to appear in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management).

While pursuing her Ph.D. in management science and engineering at Stanford, Long became interested in applying quantitative methodologies in operations research to important policy questions in health care. She has published prolifically in business and medical journals on topics in health policy modeling, hospital operations management, and medical technology cost-effectiveness. Her first paper on breast cancer, published in JAMA Oncology, examined the controversial question of genetic testing for breast cancer among all women, not just those with known family history. Given that only 1 in 400 women carry a BRCA mutation, at a price of $4,000, universal testing is not a cost-effective use of resources, and poses additional challenges in terms of feasibility. In a related study, published in Decision Analysis, Long and her collaborators built a decision analytic model to show when BRCA mutation carriers should optimally undergo surgery. For this new area of research, she received the 2015 UCLA Faculty Career Development Award.

At Anderson, Long teaches the introductory Data and Decisions course for MBA and EMBA students. Her goal in the classroom is to distill information for students in the most relevant possible way, “whether it’s reading a newspaper article with a different perspective, or creating a model to help decide whether to buy or lease a new car,” she says. She uses the classic example of Let’s Make a Deal to demonstrate that probability is a field in which your intuition can often lead you astray. “You must take into account your prior state of beliefs and what new information is presented, before calculating the probability of observing some outcome. This is as true for a game show as for interpreting a genetic test result.” What MBA candidates learn from television game show strategy, Long says, could be applied in careers ranging from credit card fraud detection to airline flight scheduling.

Coincidentally, Long was a contestant on another game show, The Price Is Right, where her numbers expertise won her two new cars. In a Washington Post editorial, she wrote about how she used statistics to maximize her chances of winning on the show.

Among Long’s newest interests is improving patient health literacy. For many patients faced with a disease diagnosis, the amount of available — and often conflicting — information can be overwhelming. Whereas consumers are demanding more transparency within entrenched industries like health insurance markets, Long sees disturbing evidence of the average person’s misunderstanding of his or her own illness, such as why a certain course of treatment might be recommended for specific cancers. She plans to embark on future research to better understand why some patients might overestimate their risks in the face of serious disease and how they can become more literate around their treatment options.
Murray Ross is Vice President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and leads the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente is the largest private integrated health care delivery system in the U.S., serving over 12 million people in eight states and Washington, D.C. The Institute seeks to shape public policy and private practice by sharing evidence and experience from Kaiser Permanente’s operations through publications, expert roundtables, and conferences.

Dr. Ross speaks frequently to domestic and international audiences on a range of health care topics and serves on a number of academic and non-profit boards. His current work focuses on how American health care can make better use of new medical technologies and how public policy can support better alignment of clinical and financial decision- making to improve health and the quality and affordability of health care.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente in 2002, Dr. Ross was a policy advisor to the U.S. Congress, first at the Congressional Budget Office and later as the executive director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

Dr. Ross earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Arizona State University. He enjoys distance running, writing, photography, and traveling (often together).
Leah Vriesman is Director of Executive Education Programs in Health Policy & Management and is on faculty in UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in the Department of Health Services. She teaches Strategic Management of Health Service Organizations and International Comparative Health Systems.

As a 2010-2011 U.S. Fulbright grant recipient and German Scholar Exchange award winner, Dr. Vriesman spent a year in Neu Ulm, Bavaria. She was at the University of Applied Sciences teaching International Healthcare Management and Strategic Marketing to German physicians studying for their Healthcare MBA. She's traveled as a lecturer to Mzumbe University in Tanzania twice to bring these same topics to East African physicians studying for their MBA.

While conducting original research in Germany on personal health records, medical travel, and e-Health using internet acceptance and connectivity, she also examined the failed implementation of the German health card (Gesundheitskarte) that would have provided all 87 million citizens with a personal electronic medical record to be presented at time of service delivery at all physician and hospital locations.

Dr. Vriesman is also President and Founder of Excel Research, LLC, a stretegy and leadership development consulting firm. Specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, Excel Research primarily conducts executive leadership, strategic analysis, and market trend projections. Prior to founding Excel Research, Dr. Vriesman was Senior Director of North American Business Development within the Medical Technology Practice at The Lewin Group, an international health policy and research corporation, and subsidiary of Quintiles Transnational. She was UCLA's Co-Principal Investigator for the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, studying the relationship between graduate health management curriculums with educational outstanding new leaders in the field. Her other particular areas of career interest are comparative merger & acquisition theory between the public and private sectors, pharm-biotech market strategies, and innovative design workshops.

Dr. Vriesman received her PhD in Medical Sociology from UCLA and her MHA and MBA in Strategy from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.

UCLA Anderson Forecast