SF 2020 Bios

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.
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.

Professor Jared A. Ellias joined the UC Hastings faculty in the Fall of 2014, after serving as a lecturer and teaching fellow at Stanford Law School. Prior to joining Stanford Law School, Professor Ellias was an associate in private practice at Brown Rudnick LLP in New York, where he represented financial institutions and ad hoc and statutory creditor committees in corporate restructuring transactions, both in and out of bankruptcy court. He has trial experience in the Bankruptcy Courts of the District of Delaware, the Western District of Louisiana and the Southern District of New York.

Professor Ellias’ current research focuses on the governance of large bankrupt firms and the role played by activist investors. He is also studying agency costs in distressed firms more generally. His research interests include corporate bankruptcy, corporate governance, contract law, empirical methods in social science and law and economics.

Professor Ellias received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2008 and his A.B. from the University of Michigan in 2005.
Jamila Justine Willis focuses her practice in the area of financial and corporate restructuring and has extensive experience in complex restructurings across industries.

Jamila represents debtors, distressed investors, sponsors, purchasers of distress assets and other interested parties in a wide range of restructuring and insolvency matters, including cases under chapters 11 and 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code and cross-border insolvency proceedings.

In addition, Jamila represents debtors, secured creditors, acquirers and distressed investors in distressed asset sales and acquisitions, including Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 foreclosure sales and Bankruptcy Code Section 363 sales.

Jamila also advises firm clients in liquidations, corporate wind-downs, bankruptcy litigation and other bankruptcy-related matters.
Tanner is a Partner at MERU, a middle-market turnaround firm, and specializes in providing advisory and interim management services for companies in varying stages of distress and transformation. He has partnered with clients in a variety of industries including retail, food, energy, and manufacturing, and is based out of San Francisco.
STEVE HELPS CLIENTS NAVIGATE THE COMPLEXITIES OF BANKRUPTCY AND OUT-OF-COURT RESTRUCTURINGS.

For over 25 years, Steve has counseled debtors, creditors, boards and management in bankruptcy cases, business reorganizations, assignments for benefit of creditors ("ABCs") and out-of-court workouts. He has represented businesses of all sizes and stages of development in a wide variety of industries, including energy, technology, transportation, medical devices, clean tech and food. Steve’s practice is concentrated in California.

Steve is a partner in Dorsey’s Finance and Restructuring Group.

UCLA Anderson Forecast