March 2021 Bios

March 2021 Economic Outlook

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES
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 (http://www.uclaforecast.com/) 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 Amazon.com 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.
Sandra R. Hernández, MD, is president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. Prior to joining CHCF, Sandra was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years. She previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco. She also cochaired San Francisco’s Universal Healthcare Council, which designed Healthy San Francisco. It was the first time a local government in the US attempted to provide health care for all of its constituents.

In February 2018, Sandra was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Covered California board of directors. In December 2019, she was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Healthy California for All Commission, which is charged with developing a plan to help California achieve a health care delivery system that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system. She also serves on the UC Regents Health Services Committee and the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Health Advisory Board. Sandra practiced at San Francisco General Hospital in the HIV/AIDS Clinic from 1984 to 2016 and was an assistant clinical professor at the UCSF School of Medicine.

Sandra is a graduate of Yale University, the Tufts School of Medicine, and the certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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.
Desert Horse-Grant is the Senior Director of Research and Innovation at UCLA Health and co-Executive Director of UCLA Biodesign. She facilitates the translation of discoveries from the lab to the clinical environment. Desert launched the UCLA Health Innovation Challenge, a seed funding program that recognizes and scales innovative therapeutic, digital and device solutions as well as patient experience and performance excellence efforts. A champion of the UCLA Innovation fund, she also connects UCLA Health researchers to resources and opportunities for funding on campus or commercialization opportunities in partnership with the UCLA Technology Development Group. In 2019, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced Desert and colleagues recipients of a national i6 Challenge grant to support Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS). The RIS portfolio represents a catalytic, nationwide program designed to fuel high-growth entrepreneurship and increase access to capital for communities across America. Prior to UCLA, she formerly was an administrator at Fred Hutch and MSKCC, and of multiple NIH-funded efforts, including the creation of a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and a T32 training program for researchers at the intersection of computational medicine and cancer biology. She was named the 2015 Life Science Innovation Northwest Women to Watch by the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association and 15 Women to Watch by Disruptive Women in Health Care. She and her team’s pioneering work to develop Oncoscope, a novel biotool on the analysis and visualization of linked molecular and clinical cancer data, was recognized with a social impact award by GitHub and published in Nature Genetics in 2018. Within the Southern California ecosystem, Desert is a steering committee member for the FDA SoCal Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics, is an active member of ScaleLA’s steering committee and is a member of the UCLA Data Governance Committee.

In 2020, she was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the year's Top 25 Innovators.
Omkar P. Kulkarni is the first chief innovation officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In his role, Kulkarni is responsible for fostering innovation across CHLA’s clinical and research enterprises – including launching an enterprise virtual care program, incubating and implementing new digital health tools and medical devices, and rallying communities inside and out of the hospital to solve problems in the field of pediatrics – all with the goal of enhancing the experience and outcomes for the children and families CHLA serves.

Prior to joining CHLA, Kulkarni served as executive director of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator powered by Techstars, where he helped build and launch the accelerator program. In that role, he evaluated over 3,000 healthcare start-ups and provided extensive mentoring, serving as the main liaison between the start-up community and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Kulkarni also led the performance improvement department at Cedars-Sinai for many years and has experience in financial process redesign at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Kulkarni has a master’s degree in public health and health care management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from George Washington University.
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.

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