Measuring Cultural Engagement Symposium: Speaker Biographies

Measuring Cultural Engagement amid Confounding Variables: A Reality Check

A Joint Research Symposium of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts & Humanities Research Council's Cultural Value Project

June 2-3, 2014
The Gallup Building, 901 F Street NW, Washington, DC

Speaker Biographies

Hasan Bakhshi is Director of Creative Economy, Policy & Research at Nesta in London. His recent work includes co-authoring the Next Gen skills review of the video games and visual effects industries, which has led to wholesale reforms of the school ICT and computing curriculum in England, and the Manifesto for the Creative Economy, which sets out ten recommendations by which governments can help the creative economy grow. Bakhshi has a particular interest in data and experimental research methods: in 2010, he designed and piloted in Manchester the Creative Credits scheme, a business support programme he structured as a randomized controlled trial; in 2011, he devised and ran the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, which has been rolled out in England, Scotland, and Wales.  Prior to Nesta, Bakhshi worked as Executive Director and Senior International Economist at Lehman Brothers, as Deputy Chief Economist at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and held various positions at the Bank of England. Bakhshi has published widely in academic journals and policy publications on topics ranging from technological progress and economic growth to the economics of the creative and cultural sector.

Johanna Blakley is the Managing Director and Director of Research at the Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy institute based at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Blakley performs research on a wide variety of topics, including entertainment education, cultural diplomacy, and the impact of digital media and intellectual property law on the creative industries. Blakley has held a variety of positions within the high-tech industry and she received a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has two talks on and she speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research.

Alan Brown, Principal of WolfBrown, is a leading researcher and management consultant in the arts and culture sector worldwide. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences and on helping cultural institutions, foundations, and agencies to see new opportunities, make informed decisions, and respond to changing conditions. His studies have introduced new vocabulary to the lexicon of cultural participation and have propelled the field towards a clearer view of the rapidly changing cultural landscape. He speaks frequently at national and international conferences about audience behaviors, trends in cultural participation, and the value system surrounding arts programs.

Jon Clifton manages Gallup’s global government work and the Gallup World Poll, an ongoing study conducted in more than 160 countries, representing 98% of the world’s adult population. He is a member of Gallup’s Public Release Committee, the governance board that oversees and maintains Gallup’s public release standards for data, research, and methodology.  Additionally, Clifton is a nonresident Senior Fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. He serves on the board of directors of the Meridian International Center, StreetWise Partners, and Chess Challenge.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate with a focus on international law from the University of Nebraska.

Geoffrey Crossick is Director of the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project and Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. Until July 2012 he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, having previously been Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London (both posts the equivalent of President). He was Professor of History at the University of Essex until 2002, where he held various senior management positions. He then served as Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board, which he led through its successful transformation into the Arts & Humanities Research Council, before he joined Goldsmiths in 2005.  As a historian, Crossick's main area of research has been the urban social history of 19th- and 20th-century Britain and continental Europe. He has published and/or edited seven books and over 40 articles that have appeared in journals and edited collections. In recent years he has written and spoken extensively in the UK and internationally on the creative and cultural sectors, on the importance of the arts and humanities, and on higher education and research strategy. In addition, Crossick now serves as Chair of the Crafts Council. He is a member of the governing boards of the Courtauld Institute and the Horniman Museum, and of the British Library Advisory Council, and he chairs the Board of Trinity Long Room Hub, the arts and humanities research institute of Trinity College Dublin. Crossick is an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Lydia Deloumeaux is an economist who has worked at UNESCO's Institute for Statistics (UIS) for the past 12 years as Assistant Program Specialist in Culture Statistics. She is the co-author of the 2009 UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS). Deloumeaux provides training and technical assistance worldwide for developing countries on the implementation of the 2009 FCS and development of national cultural statistics. She also develops or contributes to survey development, different methodological projects, and she writes reports/articles on cultural participation, cultural employment, international flows on cultural goods and services, feature films, cultural heritage and cultural diversity. Previously, she worked for seven years as Statistician at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where she was responsible for the databases on international trade data, methodologies in the field of trade statistics, and classifications. In 2001, she joined the editorial team of "Statistics Brief" of the OECD. She is French and holds a graduate diploma in International Management at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasburg, France. She also  holds a Master's degree in International Trade: Theory and Practice, and a Bachelor's in International Economy from the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, in addition to a DEUG (Major) in Mathematics and Social Sciences from the University of Paris VII Jussieu. In 2013, Deloumeaux obtained a Certificate in Anthropology from the University of Montreal, Canada.

Alan Freeman is a former economist at the Greater London Authority, where he wrote Creativity, London’s Core Business and was lead author for London: a Cultural Audit and The Living Wage: towards a Fairer London. While there, he co-wrote a series of provocations on the economics of culture with Hasan Bakhshi, Radhika Desai, Graham Hitchen, and Jason Potts. He is a Visiting Professor at London Metropolitan University and lives in Winnipeg, Canada. With Desai, he co-edits the Future of World Capitalism book series. With Bakhshi and Peter Higgs, he co-wrote Nesta’s Dynamic Mapping of the UK Creative Industries. With Andrew Kliman, he co-edits the new critical pluralist journal Critique of Political Economy. He is a special advisor to the World Cities Cultural Forum, and currently serves on the Board of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Abigail Gilmore is a Senior Lecturer in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at the Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester. Gilmore founded the MA program in Arts Management, Policy, and Practice at University of Manchester, and she works with colleagues in the Institute for Cultural Practices on other educational  programmes, including a Professional Doctorate in Arts and Cultural Management and a PhD programme in Arts and Cultural Policy. Her background is in cultural policy research, beginning with a PhD on cultural policies for local music scenes and industries and now with specific focus on local cultural management, participation, and the different forms of knowledge and evidence used to measure and understand cultural value. Her research practice includes development, consultancy, knowledge exchange, and public engagement activities with a wide range of cultural partners in Manchester and the Northwest of England, but also nationally and internationally. She is currently working on two AHRC Connected Communities research projects: "Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Value," and "Beyond the Campus: Connecting Knowledge and Creative Practice Communities Across Higher Education and the Creative Economy."

Robert M. Groves is a social statistician who studies the impact of social cognitive and behavioral influences on the quality of statistical information. His research has focused on the impact of mode of data collection on responses in sample surveys, the social and political influences on survey participation, the use of adaptive research designs to improve the cost and error properties of statistics, and public concerns about privacy affecting attitudes toward statistical agencies.  Prior to joining Georgetown as provost he was director of the US Census Bureau (presidential appointment with Senate confirmation), a position he assumed after being director of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, professor of sociology, and research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.  He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, elected member of the International Statistical Institute, elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies.

Kelly Hill is President of Hill Strategies Research, a Canadian company that specializes in applying social science research methods to the arts sector. The author of numerous reports and articles, Hill has examined the situation of artists in Canada, arts funding and finances, cultural participation and spending, cultural donors and volunteers, arts education, creative communities, and the benefits of culture. Hill Strategies Research has three ongoing projects, which were he created upon founding the company in 2002: the Statistical Insights on the Arts series (statistical reports), the Arts Research Monitor (a summary of research findings from various sources) and presentations based on our research findings. In addition, Hill Strategies Research also conducts other commissioned research projects, such as a recent study of municipal cultural investments. Much of Hill Strategies’ work is available for free at

Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Since his arrival at the NEA in June 2006, the office has produced more than 25 research publications, hosted several research events and webinars, twice updated the NEA's five-year strategic plan, collaborated with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to create the nation's first satellite account of arts and culture, and overseen a new and expanded survey about arts participation. In that time, the office also has designed an arts system map and long-term research agenda, and has launched a research grants program. Sunil also chairs the Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development. Some of the NEA’s most recent research includes Valuing the Art of Industrial Design (2013), The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth (2012), An Average Day in the Arts (2012), and The Arts and Human Development (2011). Sunil and his team have partnered with organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institutes to Health to study the arts in relation to such topics as economic development and the health and well-being of older adults. For a decade, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poetry, and his book reviews have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The American Scholar, The New Criterion, Essays in Criticism, and Contemporary Poetry Review. Iyengar has a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Maria Rosario Jackson is an expert in the fields of urban planning, comprehensive community revitalization, and arts and culture. Jackson is senior advisor to the arts and culture program at the Kresge Foundation, and she also serves on the National Council on the Arts. In addition, she is on the advisory board of the Lambent Foundation and on the boards of directors of the National Performance Network and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Jackson teaches in the arts management program of Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. She was previously on the boards of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Cultural Alliance for Greater Washington, and the Fund for Folk Culture. Jackson is former director of the Culture, Creativity and Communities Program at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based national public policy research organization, where she was based for 18 years. There, she led research on measuring cultural vitality and the role of arts and culture in community revitalization, the development of art spaces, and also research on support systems for artists. Additionally, she participated in projects concerned with public housing, public education, public safety, and parks. Jackson earned a PhD in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master of public administration degree from the University of Southern California.

Joan Jeffri is Director/Founder of the Research Center for the Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging in Washington D.C., Previously, she directed the graduate program in Arts Administration at Columbia University. Her resaerch reports include Still Kicking,  Above Ground,  Making Changes: Facilitating the Transition of Dancers to Post-Performance Careers (with William Baumol and David Throsby); Changing the Beat: A Study of the Worklife of Jazz Musicians (NEA), Respect for Art: Visual Arts Administration and Management in China and the United States (with Yu Ding), The Emerging Arts: Management, Survival and Growth, and ArtsMoney: Raising It, Saving It and Earning It. In addition, she has edited such publications as Information on Artists I,  II, III, IV;  and Artist-Help: The Artist’s Guide to Work-Related Human and Social Services. Joan formerly directed the ArtsLeadership Institute/Arts & Business Council, and she also has served as executive editor of the Journal of Arts Management and Law, in addition to having published several articles in journals. Apart from serving in numerous advisory board capacities in the past, Jeffri has worked with organizations in Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Portugal, Qatar, and Russia.  She was educated at Boston University, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University.

Bridget Jones is Director of Research & Strategic Analysis at the Australia Council for the Arts.  She is leading the Council’s research and analysis program to provide a comprehensive picture of the state of the arts in Australia.  She aims to deliver insights about the arts to the Council, industry leaders, artists and policy makers.  Jones first created the Council’s Arts Participation survey in 2010, and her team recently launched the second edition profiling changes in what the public think and how they engage with the arts in Australia.  Jones has worked as a strategic planner and research consultant in the telecommunications, transport, and cultural sectors. She has worked in national, state and local government policy and planning roles in Wellington, London, and Sydney.  

Nanna Kann-Rasmussen, PhD, is an associate professor at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Copenhagen. She teaches courses on cultural policy, media culture, and library development. Among her research interests are cultural policy, institutional theory, and arts participation. She is a member of Danish Think Tank for the Future of Public Libraries. 

Tom Knight has worked in government statistics for the past 10 years, first at the UK’s Office for National Statistics and then out-stationed at the Greater London Authority, focusing on London’s economy.  He is currently responsible for the Official Statistics outputs of the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, including "Taking Part," a national survey of cultural engagement.  He is also responsible for the wider analytic work programme of the Department, which includes the Creative Industries Economic Estimates (GDP, employment, exports), the contribution of Sport and Culture to wellbeing, and a current programme on the Value of Culture (economic, social, and intrinsic).

Anthony Lilley is an award-winning media practitioner and theorist, and he is Chief Creative Officer and CEO of Magic Lantern Productions Ltd, a creative house and consultancy. Lilley also serves as  Chairman of Myra Media Ltd, a media investment company, and he is a director of the China/UK media specialists, Zespa Media Ltd.  In addition, Lilley is a member of the UK Gambling Commission, where he also oversees the UK National Lottery and serves as a  Council Member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council. From 2006-2013, he was a member of the Content Board of the UK Media Regulator, OfCOM. Lilley holds the Chair of Creative Industries at the University of Ulster, a Visiting Professorship at the UK Centre of Excellence for Media at Bournemouth University, and he was previously Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media at the University of Oxford, where he was a Fellow of Green College. Lilley has a life-long passion for the arts and began his professional career in theatre. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee of the English National Opera, and Chair of the digital culture agency Lighthouse. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2008 for services to media and the creative industries.

Peter Linett is Chairman & Chief Idea Officer of Slover Linett Audience Research, a social research firm for the culture and informal learning sectors. He and his Chicago- and Boston-based team of social scientists help arts organizations, museums of all kinds, and cultural funders and agencies understand their audiences, evaluate their impact, and experiment with new strategies for participation. His clients range from Carnegie Hall, the Getty Museum, and Dance/USA to the American Museum of Natural History, the National Science Foundation-funded Art of Science Learning initiative, and the Irvine Foundation. Linett recently founded Culture Kettle, a nonprofit catalyst to explore evolutionary questions about public engagement in the arts, sciences, media, and other domains. Culture Kettle’s first project was a collaboration with MIT on the Evolving Culture of Science Engagement (, which was launched in September 2013 at a two-day gathering of game-changing science communicators, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elise Andrew, Robert Krulwich, and Janna Levin. Linett is an associate of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, where he earlier pursued graduate work in philosophical aesthetics. From 2002 to 2013, he served on the editorial staff of Curator, the museum field’s leading peer-reviewed journal. He is the co-author, most recently, of “New Data Directions for the Cultural Landscape: Toward a Better-Informed, Stronger Sector” for the Cultural Data Project (with Sarah Lee), and he blogs on culture and informal science at

Douglas Noonan is Director of Research at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and Associate Professor for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.  Noonan's research addresses a variety of public policy issues, especially those involving urban amenity provision and impacts and policy drivers.  As a cultural economist, he has extensively studied the application of nonmarket valuation techniques (e.g., "willingness-to-pay" surveys, trip behavior models) applied to cultural resources, the economics of historic preservation policies, urban cultural clusters, and, more recently, time use in arts activities.  His work on willingness-to-pay surveys in the cultural sector remains one of the most highly cited articles in the Journal of Cultural Economics.  His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (Canada), and the National Science Foundation.  Noonan earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in public policy at the University of Chicago and completed his undergraduate work on international studies at the University of Washington.

Kristen Purcell is the Associate Director for Research at Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. At Pew, Purcell leads the design, implementation and analysis of nationally representative surveys, special population surveys, focus groups, and interviews exploring the impact of the Internet on Americans’ social and civic lives. She has authored reports on online news and information consumption, the impact of digital technologies on organizations, the use of search and online video, and the rise of e-reading.  Most recently, her work has focused on middle and high school teachers’ experiences teaching students how to write and conduct research in the digital age, and how arts organizations use the internet and social media to connect with patrons.  Purcell’s work has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.  She has shared Pew Research Center’s data with audiences in the U.S. and abroad, including White House health officials, nonprofit organizations and associations, social media and marketing professionals, journalists, librarians, and academics.  Purcell is a native of New Jersey, and has a PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University, where she specialized in mass media and cognition.

Diane Ragsdale is currently researching the evolution in the relationship between U.S. nonprofit resident theaters and Broadway since 1950, in pursuit of a PhD. Alongside her doctoral studies, she is a part-time faculty in the department of arts and culture studies at Erasmus University, where she lectures on such topics as cultural organizations, the creative economy and creative organizations, and arts marketing. For the six years prior to moving to Europe, Ragsdale worked in the Performing Arts program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City, where she had primary responsibility for the national grantmaking programs in theater and dance.  Before joining Mellon, Ragsdale served as managing director of On the Boards, a renowned contemporary performing arts center in Seattle, and as executive director of a destination music festival in a resort town in Idaho. Prior work includes stints at several film and arts festivals and as a theater practitioner. She is a frequent panelist, provocateur, or keynote speaker at arts conferences and meetings within and outside the U.S. You can read her blog, "Jumper," on Arts and follow her on Twitter @DERagsdale.

Josephine Ramirez was appointed Program Director of the James Irvine Foundation in January 2010, with overall responsibility for the funder's arts program.. Before joining Irvine, Ramirez was VP of Programming and Planning at the Music Center in Los Angeles, where she founded the programming department in 2003 and launched several groundbreaking initiatives. Previously, she was a Program Officer at the Getty Foundation, managing funding in the areas of arts leadership development, L.A. cultural organizations, arts education research, and and arts policy. Also at the Getty, she was Research Associate at the Research Institute, creating and implementing a multi-year investigation of the connections between art making and civic participation. Earlier, Ramirez worked as an independent consultant to cultural organizations around the country, producing large and small-scale performance events. She was the Community Arts Coordinator for the King County Arts Commission in Seattle before moving to California in 1989. For the city of Los Angeles, she served as VP of the Cultural Affairs Commission and Chair of the city’s Cultural Master Plan Advisory Committee. She is a former Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, an award that supported her research on informal, nonprofessional art making and its relationship to individual and community vitality. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Ramirez earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in theater from the University of Washington.


Mark J. Stern is Kenneth L. M. Pray Professor of Social Policy and History and Co-Director of the Urban Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. An historian by training, Stern has taught social welfare policy since 1980. His scholarship covers United States social history, social welfare policy, and the impact of the arts and culture on urban neighborhoods. He is co-author of One Nation Divisible: What America Was and What It Is Becoming (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2006), which examines the history of social inequality during the 20th century and Engaging Social Welfare: An Introduction to Policy Analysis (Pearson Educational, 2014). Stern is co-founder and Principal Investigator of the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP), a policy research group at Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice. SIAP conducts research on the role of arts and culture in American cities, with a particular interest in strategies for arts-based revitalization. His monograph, Age and Arts Participation: A Case Against Demographic Destiny, was published by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011.

E. Andrew Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Arts Management Program, exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Andrew has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the William Penn Foundation, Overture Center for the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Prior to joining the AU faculty, Andrew served as Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business for over a decade. Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, current board member of the innovative arts support organization Fractured Atlas, and consulting editor both for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and for Artivate, a journal for arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, ''The Artful Manager,'' hosted by

Alaka Wali is Curator of North American Anthropology at The Field Museum in Chicago.  She received her BA at Harvard University and her PhD at Columbia University. She has conducted research in both the neotropics (Central and South America) and in the urban U.S. (New York and Chicago).  In the 18 years that she has been at The Field Museum, Wali has expanded the museum's efforts of to build partnerships with community-based organizations to promote greater understanding of cultural and social assets, improve quality of life, and develop more effective stewardship of natural resources.  She is the author of two books, over 40  articles and monographs, and has received numerous grants for research.  Her research on the social impact of arts-making in the context of everyday life has been widely cited in arts policy literature.