2016 Spring Symposium Participant Bios

Thomas H. Davenport, President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management 

Babson College

Tom Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, the Co-Founder of the International Institute for Analytics, a Fellow of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Senior Adviser to Deloitte Analytics. He teaches analytics and big data in executive programs at Babson, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School, and Boston University. He pioneered the concept of “competing on analytics” with his best-selling 2006 Harvard Business Review article (and his 2007 book by the same name). His most recent book is Big Data @Work, from Harvard Business Review Press. It surprises no one that Professor Davenport has once again branched into an exciting new topic. He has extended his work on analytics and big data to its logical conclusion—what happens to us humans when smart machines make many important decisions? Professor Davenport and Julia Kirby, his frequent editor at Harvard Business Review, published the lead/cover article in the HBR June 2015 issue. Called “Beyond Automation,” it's the first article to focus on how individuals and organizations can add value to the work of cognitive technologies. It argues for “augmentation”—people and machines working alongside each other—over automation. Titled Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines, Professor Davenport and Kirby will publish a book on this topic with Harper Business in April 2016.

Professor Davenport has written or edited seventeen books and over 100 articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, The Financial Times, and many other publications. He also writes a weekly column for The Wall Street Journal’s Corporate Technology section. Tom has been named one of the top three business/technology analysts in the world, one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry, and one of the world’s top 50 business school professors by Fortune magazine.

Professor Davenport earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in social science and has taught at the Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Boston University, and The University of Texas at Austin.


Laura Fuentes, Senior Vice President, Total Rewards and People Analytics

Hilton Worldwide

Laura Fuentes joined Hilton Worldwide in 2013 and is currently Senior Vice President, Total Rewards and People Analytics. In her role, she oversees global compensation, benefits, and recognition programs, as well as all people analytics for over 300,000 team members across 80 countries. Prior to joining Hilton, Ms. Fuentes spent six years at Capital One Financial in various corporate strategy and human resources roles, leading work force analytics, recruitment, and compensation functions for the organization. Prior to COF, she worked at McKinsey & Company in its Madrid, New York, and Washington, D.C., offices, where she served clients across financial services and nonprofit sectors. 

Ms. Fuentes holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Structural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She lives in Arlington, Va., with her husband, Will Meyer, and two children, Alex and Nico. 


Marc Lefar, President and Chief Executive


Marc Lefar is President and Chief Executive of RentPath, the leading digital marketplace connecting millions of consumers with apartments, condos, and houses for rent through its network of websites and mobile apps, including ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, Lovely, Rentals.com, and RentalHouses.com.

He also serves on the boards of directors of ClassPass, a digital marketplace and subscription service for the fitness industry, and IPC Systems, the leading provider of communications for the financial services and trading communities. In 2011, President Obama appointed Mr. Lefar to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He also serves on the McIntire School of Commerce Advisory Board.

Over his 30-year career, Mr. Lefar has developed a unique blend of global marketing, financial and operational expertise. Prior to joining RentPath, Mr. Lefar was the Chief Executive Officer of Vonage, a position he held from 2008 to 2014. Under his leadership, the company underwent a comprehensive financial, operational, and strategic transformation, resulting in the successful expansion into new markets while driving dramatic shareholder returns.

Before Vonage, he was Chief Marketing Officer of Cingular Wireless, now AT&T Mobility, responsible for all aspects of marketing strategy and execution. Mr. Lefar played a lead role in the acquisition and integration of AT&T Wireless into Cingular in 2005 and later worked with Steve Jobs and his team during the development of the exclusive partnership to launch the iPhone.

An inventor, Mr. Lefar holds two U.S. patents and has five additional patents pending.  He spent the first nine years of his career at Procter & Gamble.


Nancy Smith, President and CEO

Analytic Partners

Nancy L. Smith is President and CEO of Analytic Partners. She founded Analytic Partners in 2000, and has led the development of the company from its inception. Having worked as both a marketing analytics consultant and as a client-side buyer of marketing analytics technologies and services, Ms. Smith saw a need in the marketplace for the unique combination of client partnership and action-focused insights that makes AP the leader in marketing analytics consulting. Under her leadership, Analytic Partners has grown from one person with a business plan in 2000 to a global provider of analytic technologies and services to Fortune 500 companies. Analytic Partners maintains offices in New York City, Charlottesville, Va., Colorado, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Brazil.

Before founding Analytic Partners, Ms. Smith worked at Clairol, where she identified research needs based on business priorities, selected and managed vendors, and delivered actionable findings to executive management. Prior to joining Clairol, Ms. Smith was the second hire in the formation of ASIRAS, a division of ASI Market Research (now Ipsos-ASI) created to provide advanced analytics and consulting services.

Ms. Smith earned a B.S. degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management. She is an active member of the marketing analytics community. Ms. Smith is a member of the Advertising Research Foundation and sits on its Women in Analytics advisory board.  

Ms. Smith lives in New York City with her husband and three young children.


Christine Wilson, Founder and CEO

MtoM Consulting LLC

Christine Wilson has spent more than 16 years working with thought leaders and industry influencers in information technology, entertainment, market research, and digital content. Her extensive marketing experience with the pioneer cable network Oxygen Media sparked her passion for marketing to women and speaking to them in a way that truly resonates. Ms. Wilson led the marketing and business development for Synacor and ContentNow, digital and content start-ups, as well as chaired the board of a 2,000-member moms’ organization. In 2011 she started MtoM Consulting LLC to assist businesses and brands in communicating with moms in the digital space. Over the past five years MtoM has grown into a full-service digital agency focused on social media, content creation, and influencer marketing with clients in four key areas: hospitality and restaurants, consumer products, causes and associations, and moms.

Ms. Wilson received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1999 from the University of Virginia and resides in Arlington, Va., with her husband and two young boys.


Cliff Young, President

Ipsos Public Affairs N.A.

Cliff Young is President, Ipsos Public Affairs N.A. His research specialties include social and public opinion trends, crisis management, political risk polling, and political polling. He has worked with a wide variety of corporate, government, media, and political clients. He currently oversees Ipsos’ U.S. election polling for Reuters, and is the spokesperson for Ipsos Public Affairs in the United States.

Mr. Young is considered an expert on polling in emerging markets, as well as polling in adverse and hostile conditions. Before coming to Ipsos Public Affairs North America, he was Managing Director of Ipsos Public Affairs Brazil, where he started the practice for Ipsos. Mr. Young has polled on over 80 elections around the world; most recently, he successfully completed polling on 25 races for the U.S. midterms in 2010, the Nigerian Presidential and Gubernatorial elections in 2011, the Federal and Parliamentary elections in Canada in 2011, and the Egyptian and Kuwaiti Parliamentary elections in 2011/2012.

Trained in survey sampling and survey methods design, Mr. Young has led on more than 50 full-sample designs in countries throughout Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as Mexico and New Caledonia.

He is a frequent writer, analyst, and commentator on elections, electoral polling, and public opinion.

Mr. Young earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and did his graduate work at the University of Chicago (M.A. and Ph.D.). He also trained as a Survey Statistician at the University of Michigan and in Political Psychology at Stanford.