Board of Advisors

2019 Fall BASE Meeting
2019 Fall BASE Meeting

The primary mission of the Board of Advisors in the School of Economics (BASE) is to assist the Chair in identifying and securing financial or other opportunities for the further development of the School of Economics, its faculty, students, and programs.  In addition, the BASE acts as an advocacy group for the School within and among Georgia Tech and its various external constituencies, as well as a sounding board for the Chair on matters relevant to the articulation and direction of the School’s long-range strategies for academic excellence.  Current members of our Board of Advisors, in alphabetical order, include:

Rawi Abdelal

B.S. Economics, 1993
Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School

Rawi Abdelal is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at Harvard Business School and the Chair of the MBA Required Curriculum. His primary expertise is international political economy, and his research focuses on the politics of globalization and the political economy of Eurasia. Professor Abdelal is a faculty associate of Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and he serves on the executive committee of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

In 1999 Abdelal earned a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University, where he had received his M.A. in 1997. At Cornell, Abdelal's dissertation won the Kahin Prize in International relations and the Esman Prize. He was a President's Scholar at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received a B.S. with highest honors in Economics in 1993. Recent honors include Harvard Business School's Greenhill Award, Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching, and Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Katherine Brune

B.S. Economics, 2002
Director of Employee Well-Being & Benefits, SunTrust Banks, Inc. 

Katherine Wells Brune graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Economics in 2002. While at Tech, she was active in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and FASET. She earned her M.S. in Human Resource Development from Georgia State University. She began her career at NetBank, an online financial institution and in 2006, Katherine joined SunTrust where she has held various positions in Human Resources and Commercial Banking. She currently is a Senior Vice President and Director of Employee Well-Being and Benefits for the bank.

Katherine grew up in Alpharetta and currently lives in Marietta with her husband Matt (CE '00), daughter Hannah and son Mark. She spends her free time playing with her kids, cooking, and reading.

Edward Byrns, Jr.

M.S. Economics, 1991
Chief Technology Officer, Munich Re Trading LLC

Dr. Byrns has been working in commodity trading for almost twenty years. He is currently the CEO of The Parametrix Group. In this role, he is responsible for the design, development, and operation of a strategic platform focused on derivative analytics and climate resiliency risk management.

Prior to his current position, Byrns held senior STET management positions in the hedge fund and merchant energy sectors. Before entering the trading field, Dr. Byrns worked as an analyst and consultant in Washington D.C. and also served as an adjunct professor at two local universities.

Dr. Byrns received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Additionally, he received his M.S. in Economics and M.S. in Engineering, both from Georgia Tech. He received his B.S. from Princeton University.

Grey Cleveland

B.S. Economics, 1984
VP of Technology, Crawford & Company

Grey Cleveland earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics and Math from Georgia Tech in 1984. He is an accomplished technology executive with over twenty years' experience combining business acumen and information technology management best practices to produce breakthrough results. He has broad financial experience, having started his career at SunTrust where he held leadership roles in the software development and infrastructure management divisions. Later, Cleveland served in various executive management positions at CheckFree Corporation, including roles as Senior Vice President of Procurement and Corporate CIO.  Currently, Cleveland is Vice President of Technology Infrastructure, Global and Corporate Systems at Crawford & Company in Atlanta. He lives in Marietta with his wife and has two children in college. He has served on the Administrative Leadership Council at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church where he is a member, and does volunteer work for the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Kimberly Colbourne

B.S. Economics, 2001
Senior Medical Economics Consultant at Aetna, a CVS Health Company

Kimberly Colbourne graduated from Georgia Tech in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.  She also earned her MBA at the University of Florida with a concentration in finance and entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, she started her career at the Federal Reserve Bank conducting statistical analysis of banks with the Southeastern District of the United States. She held other jobs such as at the Federal Home Loan Bank evaluating financial risk in the market,  Morgan Stanley as a Financial Adviser and McKesson as a Corporate Finance Manager.  Currently, she works at Aetna, a CVS Health Company in Atlanta, Georgia, in the medical economics department.

Kimberly lives in Marietta with her husband Jim, and two children: Katie and William. Although most consider her a Royal aficionado, due to her children being named Will and Kate, she loves history and documentaries on historical periods. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys travel and photography, but normally can be found taking her children to various extracurricular activities or doing projects around the house.

Cliff Culberson

B.S. Economics, 1973
Technical Recruiter, Modis IT Consulting

IT Staffing/Sales Recruiting

Cliff Culberson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1973 and his Master of Science degree in Industrial Management in 1976 at Georgia Tech. He has held positions as a systems engineer, information technology (IT) manager, and in IT staffing at various companies. Currently, he is with Modis IT Consulting.

Culberson and his wife, Anne Gwynn, have an adult child. He enjoys alumni activities with the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, and is a member of Peachtree Road Methodist Church.

Parks Dodd, Jr.

Principal, Industry Analytics, LLC

Parks A. Dodd, Jr. is an economist, speaker, and consultant focused on industrial commodity markets. He is the president of Aluminomics, LLC, a market research firm and consultancy focused on the aluminum industry. He was for many years a senor consultant in North America for CRU International, a well-known metals industry forecasting and market research firm based in London. Apart from metals, he is a principal of Industry Analytics, LLC, a firm specializing in econometric modelings and applied microeconomic analysis. He is also an adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Economics at Georgia Tech, where he teaches courses in economics and applied econometric forecasting.

He was Director of Strategic Planning and Chief Economist at Alumax, and earlier was a Regional Manager for the F.W. Dodge division of McGraw-Hill, managing a group that produced market analysis and forecasting services for the commercial construction market. Prior to joining Dodge, he was a Managing Consultant with Data Resources, Inc., McGraw-Hill's economic forecasting and consulting operation. He began his business career in commercial banking in Atlanta with the Trust Company of Georgia. In  subsequent positions he was involved in research, forecasting, and planning in the health and education fields.

A native of Rome, Georgia, Dodd attended the Darlington School and graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Industrial Management. He also holds an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University. His professional association memberships included the National Association of Business Economists and the Atlanta Economics Club, for which he was a past president. 

Lauren Gough

B.S. Economics, 2011
Senior Analyst, Pacific Inventory, Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Lauren Gough earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia Tech in 2011. She is currently a Domestic Inventory Senior Analyst in the Revenue Management department of Delta Air Lines. She is responsible for managing a scope of markets where she balances the supply of seats with the demand of passengers in making a load/yield trade-off in order to maximize revenue on every flight. Lauren works at the Delta Air Lines World Headquarters in Atlanta. Georgia.

Lauren lives in Newnan, Georgia with her husband, Kevin, a fellow Georgia Tech alumnus, and their dachshund. They enjoy traveling the world as much as possible and experiencing new cultures. Lauren was an active member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and has served as a referee and a community coach in women's lacrosse. She is currently a mentor for a younger colleague at Delta and a member of both the International OCD Foundation and OCD Georgia.

Mike Haswell

B.S. Economics, 1989
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, RLI Insurance

Mike Haswell earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia Tech in 1989 and has designations in both AFCPE and CPCU. He has worked in the insurance and tech industry for over twenty years in various leadership and sales roles. His primary role at Safeco Insurance, where he worked for fifteen years, was as an Assistant Vice President and Regional Claims Manager. This included primary responsibility for loss costs of $400 million, primary responsibility for 350 employees, agent and customer satisfaction, and expense control for the Southeast Region claims department. Mike's role at PerformanceGateway was Vice President of Sales as he onboarded major clients in a specific web strategy targeted to large P&C insurers. His current role is Vice President of Business Development and Retention at RLI Insurance. He leads the Transportation Division Sales and Marketing strategies with agents and insureds for increased premium growth in all three transportation programs.

Mike has also served as the leader of Storing Treasures, an organization designed to help individuals discover their unique financial personality and help them better reach their financial goals. The mission is to offer a web-based financial education program and financial plan to organizations so they can sponsor this with their employees, clients, and students. Mike also has previous experience as an officer in church leadership. He is married to Tonya; they have four children and live in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Richard House, Jr.

B.S. Economics, 1985
Managing Director, Joe Mack Ventures, LLC

Richard R. House, Jr. was named president of CompuCredit in October 2000 and became a director in May 2001. House served as chief credit officer from the time he joined CompuCredit in April 1997 until being named president. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the consumer credit industry. From 1993 until 1997, House managed and directed Equifax's Decision Solutions division, the company's quantitative analysis and modeling group. Prior to joining Equifax in 1991, he was employed by the JC Penney Company, where he held various positions in credit operations and credit policy.

House earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts in Economics from Southern Methodist University.

Richard Inman, Jr.

B.S. Economics, 1973
Managing Principal, Iron Bridge Capital Partners

Richard B. Inman, Jr. is the managing principal and founder of Iron Bridge Capital Partners in Atlanta, Georgia. Iron Bridge specializes in the development and financing of public/private partnerships, infrastructure, affordable housing and traditional real estate projects. It has particular expertise in developing in challenging locations. Over the past ten years, the firm has focused in the Pacific and has developed and invested over $300 million in a 50-megawatt power plant, four schools, and 575 affordable housing units on the islands of Guam and Saipan.  Inman started his career in New York as an investment banker, later moving to Atlanta. He acquired and sold two food companies for his own account. As Chief Executive Officer of the Tucker Federal Bank, he guided its growth from $250 million to $1.2 billion in assets along with a 400% increase in stock price.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia Tech and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University. While at Georgia Tech, Inman was elected to Anak and ODK, played on the Tech Soccer Club, and was a member of ATO Fraternity.  Inman is active in the community as a founder of La Societe des Tetes Grande and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Guam Education Financing Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Georgia Tech School of Economics.  Previously, he has served as President of Christmas in April (Gwinnett), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Georgia State Soccer Association, and on the boards of Emory-Northlake Hospital and Atlanta Soccer Park. 

Chad Lusted

B.S. Global Economics and Modern Languages, 2010
Manager - Transfer Pricing, Deloitte

Chad Lusted graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Global Economics and Modern Languages in December 2010.  He then began his career at Deloitte as a consultant in their Transfer Pricing Group. During his time at Deloitte, Chad was elected to participate in and then co-lead a group of transfer pricing consultants around the United States that focused on developing and implementing best practices and related initiatives for the U.S. firms. Chad is currently pursuing his M.B.A. at the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University and expects to continue to advance his career in transfer pricing at Deloitte upon completion. 

Wendy Horton McLeod

B.S. International Affairs 1994 & M.S. Economics 1996
Senior Manager, Product Insights at Cox Communications

Wendy’s career spans 20+ years in the telecommunications industry. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1996, Wendy worked at Sprint for 6 years, then began working for Cox Communications in 2002. Her roles at Cox include support for Technology, Customer Care, and Product organizations through process improvement, program management, and analytics. Wendy is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Wendy is an active volunteer with Young Life and serves on the Perimeter North Area Committee. She is a member of Northside United Methodist Church and lives in Vinings with her husband John (B.S. Econ 1989, M.S. Econ 1994) and their 2 children.

Robin Murray

B.S. Industrial Management
Principal in Strategic Planning, Siemens Industry Inc.

Robin M. Murray earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech. She began her career at Western Electric and held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in various other former Bell System entities, including AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories, and Avaya. Her primary focus areas included product management, material planning, competitor analysis, and development of econometric models for sales forecasting.

Currently, Robin is a Principal in Strategic Planning with Siemens, where she continues to develop econometric models to forecast US market and company sales. She also develops quarterly analyses and forecasts of the company's 22 key industrial markets and ten key construction markets, and represents the US in the Siemens Industry Global Economic Forum.  In addition, she has assisted in teaching ECON 4160: Economic Forecasting for four semesters in the School of Economics at Georiga Tech.

Robin has held a number of leadership positions in the Boy Scouts, has served on the St. Jude the Apostle Board of Education, and taught religious education in the Spanish Sunday School program at St. Jude.  She has also recently become a member of the Board of Trustees of the John and Mary Franklin Foundation.  Robin is married to Jim Murray (Georgia Tech, BSIM) and they have four children.

Kelly Orman

B.S. Economics, 1995
Senior Director, Business Operations, SAP AG

Kelly Orman has more than fifteen years of experience as a global finance and sales operations leader. He is currently Senior Director, Business Operations at SAP Americans - a subsidiary of SAP AG which oversees the company's business operations in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He has served in a number of leadership roles responsible for maximizing global sales productivity and performance. Kelly is currently focused on building cohesive, consistent programs that support SAP's largest and most strategic global accounts. He started his career as an equity research associate at The Robinson-Humphrey Company, LLC focusing on the healthcare industry.

Kelly earned his B.S. in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he participated in the Co-Operative Education program in Sales and Marketing at the IBM Corporation. He earned his M.B.A. from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.  Kelly is an avid golfer, youth athletics coach, and is an active volunteer in the Homeless Ministry of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church.  Kelly lives in Brookhaven with his wife and son.

Joseph Owens, Jr.

B.S. Economics, 1977
Chief Financial Officer, Indego Africa

Joseph B. Owens, Jr. is Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Indego Africa Project, a non-profit social enterprise that supports women-owned businesses in Rwanda and Ghana through access to markets and education. Previously he was with American Express Company for over 30 years, where he held leadership positions in finance, business transformation and reengineering, and revenue development.

His positions included Vice President, Strategic Transformation for American Express Global Business Travel, one of the largest corporate travel management companies worldwide. Prior to that, Joe was CFO of Global Business Travel. He has held cross product line CFO positions in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. During his career with American Express, he has lived in Bangkok, Rome, London, Frankfurt and Miami, as well as his base in New York. Joe holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Joe is a member of the Ivan Allen College Advisory Board and the Board of Advisors for the School of Economics at Georgia Tech, as well as the Alumni Council of the Owen School at Vanderbilt.

Joyce Saputa

B.S. Economics, 1976

Joyce Saputa received her B.S. in Economics in 1976 and M.S. in Industrial Management in 1977 from Georgia Tech. She has worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and has held positions as an Economist, Manager of Financial Analysis (Distributor Retail Rates), and Senior Financial Analyst.  As a member of the TVA Retirees Association she has completed FEMA work for disasters.

Joyce is a member of the Chattanooga Georgia Tech Club and has previously held the positions of Scholarship Chairperson, Secretary, and President. She is currently active in the Chattanooga Georgia Tech Network, the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the American Hemerocallis Society, and the Hamilton County Tennessee Master Gardeners Association.

William Schaffer

Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Economics

William A. Schaffer holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University. He has directed major inter-industry studies for the states of Hawaii and Georgia and the province of Nova Scotia. In addition, he has published studies of the economic impact of various professional sports teams, festivals, and educational and cultural activities around the nation. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Cost-Benefit Analysis and On Input-Output Models and Regional Planning, and has consulted and testified on environmental questions, project feasibility, computer applications, and tourism impacts. His latest publication is the electronic Economic Impacts Models, published in The Web Book of Regional Science at West Virginia University.

Dr. Schaffer acted as Chair of the School of Economics at Georgia Tech from 1990-1997 and 1999-2000, and has been on the boards of several private corporations, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, and several professional associations and journals as well as president of the Atlanta Economics Club.  Schaffer has also been a member of the International Council of the Regional Science Association and was president of the North American Regional Science Council from 1996-1997. He has been honored as a Distinguished Fellow of the Southern Regional Science Association, and is a recipient of the Faculty of the Year award, presented by the Student Government Association at Georgia Tech.