Keynote Speakers

Jonathan Schwabish, Founder of PolicyViz and Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute

Jonathan Schwabish is founder of the data visualization and presentation skills firm, PolicyViz, and a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Dr. Schwabish is considered a leader in the data visualization and presentation technique fields. He  has written on various aspects of the best ways to visualize data including technical aspects of creation and design best practices. His work and his techniques have been featured on various websites including, and Named a “visualization thought leader” by AllAnalytics in 2013, Schwabish—largely self-taught as a data visualizer—conducts workshops about data visualization and presentation techniques and blogs on his website, PolicyViz. He also founded and moderates the HelpMeViz website, which provides a forum for people to help others with their data visualization challenges. He is also host of the PolicyViz Podcast on data and data visualization.  His book on presentation skills and design, Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks helps people improve the way they prepare, design, and deliver their data analysis.

John Silvia, Managing Director and Chief Economist for Wells Fargo

John Silvia is a managing director and the chief economist for Wells Fargo. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he has held his position since he joined Wachovia, a Wells Fargo predecessor, in 2002 as the company’s chief economist.

Before his current position, John worked on Capitol Hill as senior economist for the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and chief economist for the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Before that, he was chief economist of Kemper Funds and managing director of Scudder Kemper Investments, Inc.

John served as the president of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) in 2015 and was awarded a NABE Fellow Certificate of Recognition in 2011 for outstanding contributions to the business economics profession and leadership among business economists to the nation. For the second time in three years, he was awarded the best overall forecast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, as well as the best unemployment rate forecast for 2011. John is on the Bloomberg Best Forecast list for his forecasts of GDP, the ISM manufacturing index, housing starts, and the unemployment rate.

John holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Northeastern University in Boston and has a master’s degree in economics from Brown University.