Association for University
Business and Economic Research

A National Association of
Regional Economic Research Centers


Meet Our Keynote Speakers


Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures, Chapman University

Described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer,” Joel Kotkin is an internationally recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. He is the presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California, executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and senior advisor to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. He is executive editor of the widely read website and writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for He is a regular contributor to the Daily Beast and Real Clear Politics.

Jonathan Schwabish, Fellow at the Urban Institute & Founder of PolicyViz

Jonathan Schwabish is a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute and the founder of PolicyViz. Schwabish is considered a leader in the data visualization field and is a leading voice for clarity and accessibility in research. He has written on various aspects of how to best visualize data, including technical aspects of creation, design best practices, and how to communicate social science research in more accessible ways. He was named a “visualization thought leader” by AllAnalytics in 2013 and is the author of a new book about presentation design and techniques, Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks.

John Silvia, Managing Director and Chief Economist, 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, Silvia 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. He served as the president of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) in 2015.

Qing Wu, Senior Economist at Google

From Google Trends to Google Earth, Qing Wu, a senior economist at Google, uncovers economic and consumer behavior from search trends. In his role at Google, Qing Wu works on business intelligence, quantitative analysis in online advertising, revenue forecast and management, user/advertiser behavior modeling, and macroeconomics. His specialties include internet data mining, financial forecast, macroeconomics, econometrics, supply chain and demand chain management.