Speakers’ Profiles

DAVID ABBOTT became executive director of The George Gund Foundation in 2003. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as president of University Circle Incorporated, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and executive director of the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Abbott was also the Cuyahoga County administrator and, early in his career, a reporter for the Plain Dealer. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Denison University, an MS in journalism from Columbia University, and a JD from Harvard Law School.


EMEK BASKER is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri, where she has taught since receiving her PhD in economics from MIT. She has also held visiting positions at the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Philadelphia and at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Basker’s primary area of research is the economics of retail markets and the implications of recent trends in the retail sector—such as the growth of “big box” chains—on consumers, competitive conditions, and the supply chain.


JAN BRUECKNER is a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine. He joined the UCI faculty after nearly thirty years of service as a professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Brueckner has also been a visiting scholar at numerous research institutions in Europe, Asia, and Canada. His research areas include urban economics, public economics, industrial organization, and housing finance. He earned his bachelor of arts in economics with distinction from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD from Stanford University.


CRAIG CARNAROLI is executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as Penn’s chief financial and administrative officer and is responsible for the management of key administrative areas such as finance, public safety, facilities and real estate services, human resources, information systems, computing, internal audit and compliance, investments, and business services. Mr. Carnaroli also works with the president and provost to develop and implement Penn’s strategic plan for the future. He is a Penn alumnus with a bachelor of science in economics cum laude from the Wharton School and received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


MARK DOMS is a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Prior to joining the San Francisco Reserve Bank, he worked for the Department of Commerce, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Doms’s research has focused on firm dynamics, technological change, and labor economics. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin.


JOEL ELVERY is an assistant professor at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. His research focuses on the intersections of labor economics, urban economics, and public policy. His research on the effects of enterprise zones on resident employment was recognized with an honorable mention for the 2005 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research Dissertation Award. Dr. Elvery’s recent work focuses on measuring the skill intensity of production to better understand the sources of productivity differences across metropolitan areas. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Maryland.


EDWARD GLAESER, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University, teaches urban and social economics and microeconomic theory. Dr. Glaeser is also director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, director of the Rappaport Institute of Greater Boston, and editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. He has published dozens of papers on cities, economic growth, and law and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. Dr. Glaeser received his PhD from the University of Chicago.


STUART LICHTER is founder, president, and senior managing partner of Industrial Realty Group. He has become one of the leaders in renovating large shutdown industrial complexes into viable multi-tenant complexes. Mr. Lichter has a degree in business from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. He also completed all coursework for an MBA in finance from Pace University and for the Member of the Appraisal Institute designation from the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.


ENRICO MORETTI is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he holds the Michael Peevey and Donald Vial Chair in Labor Economics. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge) and a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London) and at the Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn). Dr. Moretti’s research interests include labor economics and applied econometrics. Before joining the University of California, he taught at UCLA. He earned his PhD from Berkeley.


SANDRA PIANALTO is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She previously served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and on the staff of the Budget Committee of the US House of Representatives. Ms. Pianalto currently serves on the boards of the Cleveland Foundation, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the Ohio Business Alliance for Higher Education and the Economy, among others. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Akron and her master’s degree in economics from the George Washington University. She is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and holds honorary degrees from several universities.


MARK SNIDERMAN is executive vice president and chief policy officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, where he is responsible for economic research, public affairs, community affairs, and policy analysis. He is a past president of the Cleveland Association for Business Economics and has also served as senior economist for economic policy analysis for the US Senate Budget Committee in Washington, DC. Dr. Sniderman earned a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


JOHN SPIRK is an artist, designer, inventor, and co-president of Nottingham-Spirk Design Associates, Inc., one of the leading new product invention and development groups in the United States. Along with partners and investors, Mr. Spirk and his Nottingham-Spirk partner, John Nottingham, have co-founded several successful start-up companies and are founders and general partners in Consumer Innovation Partners, a $20 million investment fund created to support Nottingham-Spirk innovations. Currently, he serves on the boards of trustees for the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Institute of Art, University Circle, Inc., the national board of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), and as chairman of the Gates Mills Architectural Review Board. He received his industrial design degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art.


KENNETH TROSKE is the William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research. He is also a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. His primary research areas are labor and human resource economics, and his most recent work has focused on evaluating various aspects of the workforce development system in the United States, including the role of temporary-help firms in facilitating the transition from welfare to work. Dr. Troske received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Washington and his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.


JAY WILLIAMS is the first African American to be elected mayor of Youngstown, Ohio. He remains a strong proponent of the city’s award-winning Youngstown 2010 citywide planning initiative, a project in which he played a leading role. Prior to being elected, Mayor Williams spent five years as the director of community development for the city. Before transitioning into public service, Mayor Williams held positions in banking, which included stints at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and at First Place Bank. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a BSBA, majoring in finance.