Our Experts


George David Banks
Erwin Blackstone
Patricia Born
Zack Christenson
Alan Daley
Anne Danehy
Joseph Fuhr
David C. Marlett
Len Merewitz
Stephen Pociask
Lawrence S. Powell
Andy Puckett
John W. Rollins
Richard G. Stefanacci
Mitch Wilk

 

George David Banks

George David Banks is an expert on energy and environmental policy issues, managing director of Vanguard Political, and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Banks was a deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. Prior to the Senate, he was a partner at Boyden Gray & Associates. Banks was also the senior adviser on international affairs and climate change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and one of the chief architects of the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change. In 2008, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be assistant administration of international activities at the EPA, and he later earned the EPA Climate Protection Award for Diplomacy from the Obama Administration. From 2004 to 2006, Banks served as the State Department’s point person on climate change and energy diplomacy at the U.S. Mission to the EU in Brussels, Belgium, where he received a Superior Honor Award for promoting U.S. diplomatic objectives. He was also a decorated CIA economic analyst and served as legislative fellow to Congressman Howard Berman. Banks holds a JD from George Mason University and a MA in economics and baccalaureate degrees in history, economics, and political science from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

He can be reached at david@theamericanconsumer.org.

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Erwin Blackstone

Dr. Blackstone has taught economics for over thirty-five years. Prior to coming to Temple in 1976, Dr. Blackstone taught at Dartmouth College and Cornell University. His research areas and publications include the Economics of Industrial Organization, Health Economics, and Privatization. He has published on a variety of antitrust topics including mergers, dominance, reciprocal buying, collusion and damages. His publications include over forty articles in major economics and public policy journals, chapters in books, an edited book, a monograph on private policing, and a book on the electronic security industry. Dr. Blackstone has taught courses from the introductory to the Ph.D. level. He was given in 1976 the Clark Award for distinguished teaching at Cornell and at Temple, the Andrisani-Frank Award for Excellence in teaching in 2001, and the Musser Excellence in Leadership Award for teaching in 2006.

Professor Blackstone holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at erwin.blackstone@temple.edu.

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Patricia Born

Dr. Born is Associate Professor in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Business Law at Florida State University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining FSU in 2008, she held appointments at California State University-Northridge, Shanghai Normal University, the University of Connecticut, NOVA Southeastern University and DePaul University. She also worked in the Center for Health Care Policy and Research at the American Medical Association. She is Director of the FSU Center for Insurance Research, and an Associated Member of the Munich Risk and Insurance Center. Dr. Born has taught courses in risk management, insurance, and economics at all academic levels. Her research interests include insurance regulation, medical malpractice markets, health care finance, risk retention groups, and catastrophe modeling. She has published numerous articles and is Co-Editor of the Journal of Insurance Issues. She has served as an expert witness and provided consulting services on a wide range of cases relating to insurance and liability issues. Dr. Born has served several industry and academic organizations including the Risk and Insurance Management Society, the American Risk and Insurance Association, the Asia-Pacific Risk and Insurance Association, and the State of Florida Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Dr. Born can be reached at pborn@cob.fsu.edu or (850) 644-7884.

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Zack Christenson

As a research fellow for the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, Zack writes on technology and regulatory issues. In addition, he is currently the COO of a media, data and analytics company that helps publishers connect with their audiences. Previously, Zack served as the vice president of a media strategy firm, where he worked with publishers and media companies on their digital products and strategies. Prior to that, Zack was a writer and producer working for several media companies, including WGN and CBS Radio, among others. He lives in Washington, DC.

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Alan Daley

With over 20 years of experience in the communications industry, Alan has collaborated on policy development with elected officials, think tank experts, and government professionals. He launched successful businesses in mobile communications devices, and in software for financial and economic analysis. He wrote several books on software and technology. Alan, who is retired and lives in Florida, is a research fellow for the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, where he currently writes on economic policy, regulation and finance from a consumer perspective, including such topics as healthcare, insurance, taxation, energy and technology.

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Anne Danehy

As President of Strategic Opinion Research, Ms. Danehy brings more than 15 years of experience in designing, conducting and analyzing public opinion research both nationally and internationally for use in developing and evaluating public policy programs and public relations. She has conducted research involving various demographic segments, including teenagers, low-income residents, mentally ill patients and non-English speaking populations. Over the years, her research has covered medical, public health and safety issues. On the political front, she has conducted numerous political polls for candidates. She is also actively involved in community education issues.

Ms. Danehy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Smith College and a Master of Arts degree in Public Opinion Research from the University of Connecticut. Ms. Danehy is a lecturer at Boston University’s College of Communication. Prior to her current assignment, she served as Vice President at Bannon Research and Director of Research at the Rendon Group, Inc., where she was involved in survey and focus group research.

Ms. Danehy can be reach at adanehy@rcn.com.

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Joseph Fuhr

Dr. Fuhr is a Professor of Economics at Widener University. Dr. Fuhr received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University and his B.A. from LaSalle University. His primary research areas are antitrust, health economics, pharmacoeconomics, telecommunications, and sports economics.

He has published over sixty journal articles. In the field of telecommunications, he has written on investment and innovation, rural telephony, terminal equipment and universal service. In health care, he has written on hospital mergers, exclusive arrangements, health insurance, bundling and doctor’s fees. In pharmacoeconomics, he has written on cost benefit analysis and predictive modeling. In sports economics, Dr. Fuhr has written on the economics of baseball and football.

Professor Fuhr has been an expert witness on antitrust matters related to health economics and has worked on various consulting projects. He is an economic consultant for the Department of Health Policy and Outcomes Research at Thomas Jefferson University and affiliated with Darby Associates and Econsult.

Dr. Fuhr can be reached at jpfuhr@widener.edu or (610) 499-1172.

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David C. Marlett

Professor Marlett is Chair of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance at Appalachian State University. He has also served as Director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center. His responsibilities include administration, teaching, research, and developing strong industry relations. David has earned the CPCU designation and holds the IIANC Distinguished Professorship. He is a Senior Fellow at the American Consumer Institute, and he also served as an affiliated Senior Scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

David was appointed by the Speaker of the North Carolina General Assembly as a member of the Joint Select Study Committee on Potential Impact of Major Hurricane on the Insurance Industry in North Carolina. In addition, David served as Editor for the CPCU eJournal for eight years and currently serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Insurance Regulation. He has published over twenty articles in peer-reviewed journals.

David earned his Ph.D. at Florida State, where his major area of study was risk management and insurance, with a support area in finance. His doctoral dissertation was on residual markets and catastrophe financing programs.

He can be reached at marlettdc@appstate.edu.

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Len Merewitz

Dr. Merewitz is president of LAMA Consulting, an economic consulting firm specializing in postal matters, transportation, regulation and public policies. He has testified on cost analysis of public utilities before state commissions and the U.S. Postal Rate Commission.

His forty years of experience includes seven years as a special assistant for the U.S. Postal Rate Commission, seven more years as General Manager and Member Postal Career Executive Service for the United States Postal Service. Dr. Merewitz was a senior economist for the National Transportation Economic Counsel, Director of Transportation Studies for J.W. Wilson and Associates, and Senior Economist for the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. He was an Assistant Professor at Schools of Business Administration at UC Berkeley, and provided consulting services for Institute for Defense Analyses and the RAND Corporation. His book, The Budget’s New Clothes (Rand McNally) has had eight printings. Dr. Merewitz earned a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Harvard and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Merewitz provides nonprofits and other organizations with tips on saving up to 20 percent on high electricity and natural gas bills. Click here for more information.

Dr. Merewitz can be reached at merewitz@post.harvard.edu.

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Stephen Pociask

For over thirty years, Mr. Pociask has been involved in consumer public policy research. He has published numerous economic studies, including three books for the Economic Policy Institute, and policy studies for numerous independent nonprofit organizations. Many of his research studies have focused the consequences of public policies on consumer welfare. He has extensive experience in various policy issues, including energy, insurance, consumer products, information technology and healthcare. He has conducted surveys of consumer opinion covering a wide variety of public policy issues. He has participated as a consumer advocacy representative for policymaker organizations.  He is a member of the FCC’s Consumer Advocacy Committee, including the Broadband, Healthcare and IP transition subcommittees, the latter of which he co-chairs.

He has also written reports for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, including one on small businesses’ telecommunications expenditures and use, and one on broadband use in rural America. He has testified before Congress. He has appeared numerous times in the media, including Bloomberg News, NBC, FOX, New York Times, and others.

From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Pociask served as chief economist and executive vice president for Joel Popkin and Co., an economic consulting firm in Washington, DC.  Prior to that, he was chief economist for the Bell Atlantic Corporation.  He has completed his Ph.D. coursework in economics and has an M.A. in economics from George Mason University.

Mr. Pociask can be reached at (703) 471-3954 or Steve@theamericanconsumer.org

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Lawrence S. Powell

Dr. Powell holds the Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services in the Department of Economics and Finance at University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He earned a Ph.D. in Insurance and Risk Management at the University of Georgia. Most of his research focuses on the intersection of regulation and markets in the insurance industry. He has also published research on insurer operations and insurer capitalization. Dr. Powell currently serves as editor of the Journal of Insurance Regulation. His work appears in leading academic and practitioner journals including Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Risk and Insurance, and Journal of Insurance Regulation, among others. He is on the board of directors for the Southern Risk and Insurance Association, and is a member of the American Risk and Insurance Association and the Risk Theory Society.

Dr. Powell can be reached at lspowell@ualr.edu.

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Andy Puckett

Andy Puckett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Finance at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Puckett joined the University of Tennessee faculty in 2009 from the University of Missouri, where he taught investments to both undergraduate and graduate students. He received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Georgia and his undergraduate degree in finance from Auburn University. Dr. Puckett’s primary research interests are in the areas of institutional investing, analysts, and market microstructure. His research has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Corporate Finance, Review of Accounting Studies, and the Journal of the American Taxation Association. Dr. Puckett’s research has also been presented at numerous conferences including the American Finance Association Conference, Utah Winter Finance Conference, National Bureau of Economic Research Market Microstructure Conference, Financial Management Association Conference, and Singapore International Conference.

Dr. Puckett can be reached at pucketta@utk.edu.

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John W. Rollins

John W. Rollins, FCAS, MAAA is the president of Rollins Analytics, Inc., an independent consulting firm in Florida specializing in providing actionable, credible, professional actuarial analysis to the private and public sector. He has practiced in U.S. property-casualty insurance for 20 years and in Florida property lines for the last 11, serving as chief actuary of both the Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Companies and the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. He has also led consulting operations for catastrophe modeling and global accounting firms. He has authored numerous prize-winning research papers, many trade publication articles, and speaks and testifies frequently on property insurance and hurricane risk issues to legislators, regulators, academics, and the media. He holds an B.A. in math from Duke and an M.A. in economics from the University of Florida, and resides in the Gainesville area with his wife and children. He can be reached by email at rollins@theamericanconsumer.org.

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Richard G. Stefanacci

As the Founding Executive Director of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia’s Health Policy Institute, Dr. Stefanacci is building upon his recently completed work as Health Policy Scholar at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). At CMS he spent a year working on the policy and implementation of the Medicare Part D Pharmacy Benefit, especially regarding access issues for frail elderly. He holds two Master’s degrees — one in Geriatric Health as well as Business Administration. He is board certified in Quality Assurance and Utilization as well as being a Certified Medical Director (CMD). Recently he achieved recognition as a fellow in both the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and AGS as well as becoming an honorary lifetime member of ASCP. In addition to writing and lecturing extensively, he serves as editor-in-chief of the Assisted Living Consult and Medicare Patient Management as well as serving on the editorial boards of Caring for the Ages, Consultant Pharmacist, LTC Interface, Managed Care, and Jefferson’s Health Policy newsletter. Based on his experience and the expertise within the University of the Sciences as the oldest College of Pharmacy, the Health Policy Institute has focused on pharmaceutical related issues. You can email Dr. Stefanacci at r.stefan@usip.edu.

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G. Mitchell Wilk

Mr. Mitch Wilk is the Managing Director of the Economics & Policy practice group of LECG, and founder the public policy research and consulting firm Wilk & Associates.

Prior this this, he served as Commissioner and President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). He was appointed by the Chairman of the FCC to serve on the six member Conference Committee to oversee the implementation of a key initiative to encourage industry competition.

Prior to his appointment to the CPUC, Mr. Wilk was Deputy Legislative Secretary, and later, Deputy Chief of Staff to California Governor George Deukmejian. He served on a select Advisory Panel to the California State Senate Committee on Energy and Public Utilities to develop recommendations for CPUC reform and reorganization. During the 2001 California electricity crisis, Mr. Wilk joined other experts to co-author two widely published Manifestos on the crisis under the auspices of the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. He is on the Academic Advisory Board of the Progress & Freedom Foundation’s Institute for Regulatory Law and Economics, an educational forum for new regulators. His views are frequently sought by media, academic, and governmental institutions regarding current developments and trends in utilities and other regulated industries.

Mr. Wilk is an Army veteran, and earned B.S. and M.B.A. degrees in finance from The American University in Washington, D.C., during which time he also served as a member of Congressional Staff. Mr. Wilk can be reached at mwilk@lecg.com.

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