On October 22nd, the Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips’ I.D.E.A. Deal Team (Insights, Data, Experiences & Analytics) brought together an extraordinary panel of expert insiders to discuss the state of affairs in the political insights business and how it dovetails with insights work outside of politics.
The panelists engaged in a compelling discussion and addressed topics such as the challenges of providing accurate data analytics in a world filled with noise and uncertainty, social media and its utility for distilling insights and messaging voters, and the changing landscape of the political insights business, i.e. how are experts responding to client demands for greater accuracy and rigor?
Cliff Young is President of Ipsos Public Affairs in the United States and leads Ipsos’ global election and political polling practice. His research specialties include social and public opinion trends, crisis management, corporate and institution reputation, and election polling; working with a wide variety of corporate, government, media, and political clients. He also oversees Ipsos’ US public opinion research including our partnerships with ABC News, Axios, NPR, Thomson Reuters, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
He is a frequent writer, analyst, and commentator on elections, communication, and public opinion.
Cliff earned his BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and did his graduate work at the University of Chicago (MA and PhD). He also trained as a survey statistician at the University of Michigan and in political psychology at Stanford. Cliff is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS and an instructor at Columbia University SIPA where he teaches courses on public opinion and political risk.
Jeffrey Liszt is a Partner at ALG Research. He is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, by way of the University of Chicago.
Along with partner John Anzalone, Jeff polled for the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign in seven states, including Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. He has polled for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Governors Association independent expenditures, including the DSCC’s successful IE campaign for Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010. His international experience includes recent work in Ukraine and Slovakia.
His non-political work includes extensive polling on healthcare, conservation, energy, and education. Jeff is also an Ironman triathlete.
Elan Kriegel is a Co-Founder of BlueLabs, where he serves on the executive management team. Elan directs BlueLabs’ strategic relationships, leads analytics programs to identify pivotal shifts in the electorate, and oversees development of Ripple, BlueLabs’ influencer tool.
Elan was previously Director of Analytics at Hillary for America in 2016, where he managed the national data and analytics team. Prior to that, he served as Director of the Battleground States Analytics team at Obama for America in 2012 and worked on the DNC’s targeting team where he developed early methodology and models predicting the behavior of voters.
Elan is a graduate of Columbia University’s QMSS Master’s program and received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin.
Shomik Dutta is a Co-founder and Partner at Higher Ground Labs, an accelerator and venture fund for the Democratic Party. Shomik co-founded Higher Ground Labs in the wake of the 2016 election and has since invested $20 million into 40 technology start-ups that support over 6,000 Democratic campaigns, causes, and labor unions
Shomik began his career in Democratic politics and worked as a longtime political aide to President Obama. In 2008, Shomik served as Mid-Atlantic Finance Director to Obama for America and later served as a special assistant in the White House and as an aide on the Obama Biden re-election campaign. He also served as an Advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission. Shomik later worked in renewable energy, overseeing the development, planning, and financing of utility-scale solar projects in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Shomik earned his BA from Williams College and his MBA from Wharton Business School. He has served as a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and at the University of Chicago. His work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times.
Ken Sonenclar joined DeSilva+Phillips in 2005 and has enjoyed a varied career across the media landscape.
He served as the founding editor of Information Week magazine before taking up a 15-year career in research and consulting, first as an analyst and program director in Artificial Intelligence at Gartner Group, and later as founder and CEO of New Science Associates, where he led the company onto the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in the USA. New Science was a retainer-research firm specializing in advanced information tech, including AI, imaging, and automated software design. The firm, with offices across the US and in the UK, was acquired by Gartner Group.
His focus areas include marketing services, research & consulting, customer intelligence & experience, ad tech, e-commerce, editorial content, lead generation, events, and cross-border transactions.
Ken is an award-winning writer and the author of the novel Bombs & Believers.
Co-Founder & Partner, Higher Ground Labs
Partner, ALG Research
President, U.S. Public Affairs, Ipsos