Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing
2016 Faculty

To view the 2016 detailed program, click here.


Robert Baensch
Director, Publishing Programs, SUNY Global Center

Robert E. Baensch is a Fellow and Director of Publishing Programs, the SUNY Global Center, New York. He is also the president of the Baensch International Group Ltd. and specializes in international publishing, start-up and turnaround management. He served eleven years as the Associate Professor of Publishing and former director of the New York University’s Center for Publishing. He was the Senior VP for marketing for Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., and, prior to that, was the Director for publishing at the American Institute of Physics where he was responsible for over 60 journals, a book program, print publishing, and database online information services. Previously, Baensch was the Vice President-Marketing of Macmillan Publishing Company and also directed the Macmillan Software Company and English as a Second Language Multimedia Program. He is currently on the board of the Consumers Union and he is editor of the book, The Publishing Industry in China, and of the journal Publishing Research Quarterly. Baensch received a B.A. degree from the Johns Hopkins University and an S.E.P. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Kara Cesare
Vice President and Executive Editor, Random House

Kara Cesare is Vice President, Executive Editor at Random House. She acquires a wide range of voice-driven quality fiction, whether it’s historical, contemporary, upmarket, suspense-driven, or book club–oriented. Recent books she has edited include the New York Times bestsellers Sisi by Allison Pataki, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows, China Dolls by Lisa See, and The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan, as well as the latest in the #1 bestselling Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Tricky Twenty-Two, for Ballantine. Other authors she works with include Amanda Eyre Ward, Anna Hope, Lisa Owens, Michael Rudolph, Bethany Chase, and Caite-Dolan Leach.

Neil De Young
Executive Director, Hachette Digital, Inc.

Neil De Young is the Executive Director of Hachette Digital, Inc. and is responsible for managing digital content development and operations, including interactive ebooks, supply Chain, D2C eCommerce, and anti-piracy. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University, teaching the Digital Publishing course in the Publishing Studies program and is a guest lecturer at the Yale and NYU Summer Publishing Program’s as well as at Pace University’s MS Publishing program. His past experience includes application management, including system design and user support management; as well as physical sales account management and Internet Marketing at Scholastic and Hyperion.  Neil holds a BA from Hofstra University and a MS from NYU.

Kristin Fassler
Vice President and Director of Marketing, Ballantine, Bantam Dell

Kristin Fassler is Vice President, Director of Marketing at the Ballantine Bantam Dell division of Penguin Random House. She oversees the creation and implementation of the consumer marketing, branding, and social strategies for over 150 fiction and nonfiction titles annually, including campaigns for bestselling authors such as Diana Gabaldon, Debbie Macomber, George R.R. Martin, Lee Child, and Janet Evanovich. Her current projects include using data and analytics to craft detailed profiles of the readership of BBD authors in order to activate their core audiences and find opportunities to grow their reach.

John Gall
Creative Director, Abrams Books 

John Gall is the Creative Director for Abrams Books where he oversees the design of the Abrams adult list as well as the company’s branding. Previously he worked as Vice President/Art Director for Vintage and Anchor books, designing covers for the likes of Haruki Murakami, Vladimir Nabokov and many of others. He has served on the board of AIGA/NY and currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts. His work has been recognized the AIGA, Art Directors Club, Print, Graphis, and ID magazine and is featured in the books: Next: The New Generation of Graphic Design; Less Is More; By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design; Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World's Great Graphic Designers and Please Make this Look Nice: The Graphic design Process.


George Gibson is Publishing Director of Bloomsbury USA and Publisher and Editorial Director for the Bloomsbury and Walker adult lists. Previously, he was President and Publisher of Walker & Company, a family-owned independent publisher that was acquired by Bloomsbury PLC in 2005. Gibson began his career in the book business in 1972 as a clerk at The Old Corner Bookstore in Boston, which was then the oldest continuously running bookstore in America. After working as assistant to the General Manager of Little, Brown’s trade division, he joined publisher David R. Godine as Assistant Sales Manager, and over the next 11 years became, in turn, Sales Director, Sales and Marketing Director, and added responsibility for Subsidiary Rights. Gibson then joined Addison-Wesley’s trade division, first as Senior Editor and then in Marketing and Subsidiary Rights. He then became Acting CEO of Consortium Book Sales & Distribution in St. Paul, Minnesota, a distribution company for smaller publishers, and consulted to the programs to assist small presses of the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund and the Mellon Foundation.

Nigel Holmes
Principal, Explanation Graphics

Born in England, Nigel Holmes studied illustration at the Royal College of Art in London and then freelanced for magazines and newspapers for 12 years before coming to America in 1978 to work for Time magazine. He became graphics director at Time, where his pictorial explanations of complex subjects helped readers understand otherwise abstract numbers and difficult scientific concepts. In 1994, he founded his own business, Explanation Graphics, and has worked with a variety of clients including American Express, The Smithsonian Institution, and United Healthcare. He also does graphics and illustrations for publications such as Scientific American, National Geographic and The New York Times. Holmes has written seven books about (or including lots of) information graphics, including The Book of Everything (2012), and Instant Expert (2014), both published by Lonely Planet.


Michael Jacobs started in publishing as a page in the main branch of the Oakland (CA) Public Library and went on to work at Bookpeople, an employee-owned distributor of small and independent press books. His professional track took him to Penguin USA, where he started as a sales representative based in the Pacific Northwest and later became President of the Viking Penguin division and a member of the board of directors. He then served as Executive Vice President of Simon and Schuster’s Trade division, Publisher of the Free Press, and Senior Vice President in Scholastic’s trade book group. While at Scholastic, he orchestrated the publishing, marketing, sales, and distribution of the most successful books in publishing history – the first five Harry Potter volumes. Jacobs joined Abrams in 2004, where he oversaw the publication of the best-selling Wimpy Kid series. He is on the board of directors of the Academy of American Poets and is an Eli Whitney scholar at Yale University.

Rick Joyce
Former Chief Marketing Officer, Perseus Books Group

Rick Joyce has been a strategist and operator in the media business for 30 years. Most recently he was the CMO of the Perseus Book Group, the leading independent publishing and services company, recently sold to Hachette and Ingram. At Perseus, he was involved in growth strategy, digital strategy, and business development for nine in-house publishers, and for developing services and solutions for more than 600 independent publisher clients. He was the force behind BOOK: THE SEQUEL at BEA 2009 (a publishing experiment that crashed a book in all formats in 48 hours from the show floor), and the industry’s first Publishing Hackathon, at BEA 2014. Prior to Perseus, he worked as a strategy consultant at Booz Allen and as a partner at Accenture in publishing, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and live entertainment, for clients like Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Disney, MTV, the Chicago Tribune, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Rick has a BA from Dartmouth, an MBA from Columbia, an MFA from The Actors Studio Drama School, and five children.

Christopher Kenneally
Director, Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center

At the non-profit Copyright Clearance Center, Christopher Kenneally develops content and programming covering issues facing the information industry. Kenneally is host and producer of CCC’s weekly podcast series, “Beyond the Book” and has contributed reporting and commentary to Publishers Weekly and Publishing Perspectives. As an independent journalist, Christopher Kenneally reported on education, business, travel, culture and technology for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and The Independent of London, among many other publications. He also reported for WBUR-FM (Boston), National Public Radio, and WGBH-TV (PBS-Boston). He is author of “Massachusetts 101” (Applewood Books), a history of the state “from Redcoats to Red Sox.”

Marcus Leaver
Chief Executive Officer, The Quarto Group Inc.

Marcus Leaver has been Chief Executive Officer of The Quarto Group, the leading global illustrated publisher and distribution group since 2012. Quarto, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, has businesses in the US, UK, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand with revenues of c.$180m and over 400 employees. Prior to Quarto, he worked in the USA from 2005, latterly as President of Sterling Publishing, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble.

Nihar Malaviya
EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Penguin Random House USA

Nihar Malaviya is responsible for Strategy, Analytics & Program Development for the Sales, Operations & Digital departments and has direct oversight for the company’s combined corporate technology teams and for the Random House operations teams. His key responsibility is to create new capabilities required for Random House to be successful in future - ranging from dynamic pricing, consumer insights and marketing, to vendor managed inventory. At Random House, Malaviya has worked on a variety of corporate functions ranging from sales, technology, operations, supply chain, production and lead numerous projects ranging from digital strategy, eBook pricing, technology infrastructure consolidation, supply chain redesign and production vendor re-negotiations. Before entering the world of publishing, Malaviya spent seven years on Wall Street at the intersection of credit & market risk management and technology. Malaviya has an MBA in Finance & Marketing from the Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charterholder.

Leigh Marchant
Vice President and Director of Marketing, Random House, Spiegel & Grau

Leigh Marchant is Vice President and Director of Marketing for Random House and Spiegel & Grau where she oversees the development and implementation of integrated marketing campaigns for the imprint’s non-fiction and literary fiction list. Prior to her time at Random House, she was a Coop Account Manager in the Merchandising Department at Barnes & Noble. She has also worked in marketing and publicity at Oxford University Press, the Perseus Books Group, and Harcourt. She earned her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University.

Liisa McCloy-Kelley
Vice President and Director, eBook Development & Innovation, Penguin Random House

Liisa McCloy-Kelley is responsible for leading the charge as Penguin Random House works to create innovative new ebook products and drive new functionality for the ebook marketplace. She has been with the company for more than 25 years and co-leads a corporate team of more than 50 developers, designers and producers dedicated to advancing ebook production and innovation in support of our authors and their stories. Since 2000, she has worked on a variety of ebook standards with numerous organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of the IDPF. She has spoken at many industry conferences and has taught at Wellesley and at the New York University Publishing Center.


Kirsty Melville
President and Publisher, Andrews McMeel Universal

Kirsty Melville is President and Publisher of Andrews McMeel Universal, a company that gives voice to storytellers, artists and creators.  Andrews McMeel Universal discovers, nurtures, and distributes the most noteworthy creative talents of our time through a variety of comic features, books, calendars, and greeting cards. Under Melville’s leadership, the publishing division has met with great success, establishing AMU as a leader in humor and inspiration with many books and calendars that have been New York Times bestsellers.  A native of Australia, she was the founding publisher of Simon & Schuster Australia. In 1994, she moved to the U.S. as Vice President and Publisher for Ten Speed Press and led in its transformation from a niche publisher into an internationally recognized, award-winning publisher. She departed Ten Speed to work as Publisher for San Francisco’s University Games, was named Publisher and Executive Vice President of Andrews McMeel Publishing in 2005, and was named President and Publisher in 2009.

Gregory Miller
Managing Director, Greenhill & Co.

At Greenhill, an independent global investment banking firm focused on mergers and acquisitions and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Miller serves clients in the media industry, with a particular focus on companies involved in publishing and information services. Prior to joining Greenhill in 2004, he was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse, where he worked for more than 14 years and also focused on the media sector. Over the course of his career, Miller has advised a wide range of consumer and professional media companies worldwide on more than 100 merger & acquisition and capital raising transactions. In 2004, Miller launched Gregory R. Miller & Co., a publisher of high quality books about contemporary art, architecture, and design. He earned a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame and a JD from Yale Law School.

Craig Mod
Advisor and Contributor, Medium; Publishing startup advisor and investor; former Designer, Flipboard; Writer

Craig [] is a writer and designer who splits his time between Tokyo and New York. Previously a product designer at Flipboard, he is also a TechFellow award recipient and a 2011/2012 MacDowell writing fellow. He’s currently an advisor for Medium and the Japan based SmartNews. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, California Sunday Magazine, Aeon, Virginia Quarterly Review, New Scientist, Contents Magazine, Codex Journal of Typography and other publications. He is the co-author of Art Space Tokyo and the essay collection, Bokura no Jidai no Hon (The Books of our Generation), published in Japanese (2014) and Korean (2015). Every six years he reviews a camera.

Ed Nawotka
International Book Publishing and Media Specialist

Ed Nawotka works with authors, creators and publishers to help them connect and tell their stories to the world. His clients have included numerous top publishers, cultural institutions, and media organizations around the globe. From 2009 until 2016, served as Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, an online magazine for the international publishing industry, which he launched in 2009. Prior to that, he worked as the book columnist for Bloomberg News, daily news editor for Publishers Weekly, and as a foreign correspondent. As a journalist, he has traveled to more than 35 countries, with his essays, reviews and reporting appearing in The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere. He speaks regularly on international book publishing and media, and was recently featured at the Korea Digital Book Fair, ZincShower (Madrid), and the Buenos Aires Book Fair, among other events. You can read more about his work at

Carolyn Pittis
COO and Co-founder, VeloScore™
Managing Director, Welman Digital LLC

Carolyn is the Chief Operating Officer and lead product designer of VeloScore™, a cloud-based software platform designed to increase organizational collaboration and productivity. At VeloScore™ and in her consulting business, Carolyn specializes in cross-channel operations, change management, organizational design, business process engineering, and operating metrics to drive superior performance and lasting innovation. Carolyn is a recognized publishing industry leader with over 25 years experience increasing business efficiency and effectiveness. She has held a variety of senior management positions working closely with executives in digital strategy and marketing, sales, web product development, operations, digital asset management, business development, and managing editorial.  She is a frequent speaker and consultant on how to drive change in the publishing workplace. Prior to launching VeloScore™, Carolyn served as VP, Operations at Sterling Publishing, a division of Barnes and Noble, Inc. and SVP, Publishing Transformation at HarperCollins Publishers.


Mark Polizzotti directs the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The recipient of a 2016 American Academy of Arts & Letters Award for Literature, he is the author of Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995; revised ed., 2009), which was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Best Nonfiction; the collaborative novel S. (1991); Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados (British Film Institute, 2006); and Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Bloomsbury, 2006). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, The Nation, Parnassus, Partisan Review, and Bookforum, and he has translated more than forty books from the French, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Patrick Modiano, and Marguerite Duras.

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Leslie Prives
Director of Digital Marketing, Random House Publishing Group

Leslie Prives is the Director of Digital Marketing for Random House Publishing Group, where she oversees a team that focuses on three areas of digital innovation: Analytics, Email Audience Development, and Web Development. Prior to joining Random House, Leslie worked in marketing strategy and analytics at Digitas and Ogilvy CommonHealth, and in educational marketing at Penguin Young Readers Group. She has a BA in English from Tufts University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Tim Sullivan
Editorial Director, Harvard Business Review Press

Tim Sullivan is the editorial director of HBR Press, a senior editor at HBR and, and a senior manager for the HBR Group. He's worked at Princeton University Press, Portfolio (Penguin), and Basic Books. He's also the author, with Ray Fisman, of The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office (Twelve, 2013) and The Inner Lives of Markets (Public Affairs, 2016).

Amy Wrzesniewski
Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale School of Management

Amy Wrzesniewski is Professor of Organizational Behavior at Yale School of Management. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude with highest honors and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her current research, which has been published in a variety of academic journals, involves studying how employees shape their tasks, interactions, and relationships with others in the workplace to change both their work identity and the meaning of the job. She has engaged in research projects with IBM, Google, Sun Microsystems, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Michigan Hospital System, Ness Technologies, and Burt’s Bees. Wrzesniewski spent the 2012-2013 academic year on the faculty of The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she teaches Organizational Behavior courses in the MBA and Executive MBA programs at the Yale School of Management.

Jeffrey Yamaguchi
Director of Audience Development, Narativ Media

Jeffrey Yamaguchi is a digital publishing professional currently serving as the Director of Audience Development at Narativ Media, a new venture focused on podcasting and online education. Previously he held key digital marketing positions at Harpercollins, Random House, and Abrams Books, where he lead campaigns for bestselling authors such as John Grisham, Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Brown, Robert Reich, Tom Angleberger, Anne Rice, Cheryl Strayed, and Haruki Murakami. He’s launched countless websites, led growth strategy for all manner of social media platforms, and developed innovative direct-to-consumer programs for authors and publishers working to forge long-term connections with their readers. Jeffrey has also initiated, produced, and marketed a number of new digital products: eshorts, enhanced ebooks, and apps, including Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking app. Additionally, Jeffrey is the author of 52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity and Working for the Man: Inspiring and Subversive Projects for Residents of Cubicle Land, both published by Penguin. He teaches publishing courses at NYU, including Digital Trends in the Book Industry and Book Marketing Strategies, and is also developing and teaching online digital and social media marketing courses at Mediabistro. He also hosts and produces several podcasts, including Writing Drafts and The Digital Publishing Experiment.