An expert panel of economic leaders discuss the recipe for economic reform: taxes, regulation and trade policy.
Melissa A. Lavinson, Vice President of Federal Affairs, PG&E Corporation
Eric Toder, Co-Director, Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center
Stephen J. Ubl, President and CEO, AdvaMed
Deborah L. Wince-Smith, President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness
Moderator: Matthew O'Brien, Associate Editor, The Atlantic
Melissa A. Lavinson
Melissa Lavinson is the Vice President of Federal Affairs for PG&E Corporation. She is responsible for directing the company's efforts to shape, develop, implement and manage public policy on all federal issues that impact our business. Lavinson will also continue to build the company's relationships at the federal level with Congress and the administration, trade associations, non-governmental organizations and other key players.
Lavinson joined PG&E in 1997 in government relations and has held an increasing level of responsibilities in the company's federal affairs office, most recently serving as Senior Director since 2008. Her career has included assignments in California and the nation's capital, both within the utility and the holding company, as well as representing the company in legislatures throughout the country. She has also distinguished herself in the industry and is recognized for her expertise in energy and environmental policy, being regularly called upon by various coalitions to provide strategic insight and direction.
Prior to joining PG&E, Lavinson was a Senior Associate at MRW and Associates in Oakland, California, a consulting firm providing financial, economic, environmental and market analysis to competitive energy suppliers, independent power producers, large energy consumers, financial institutions and utilities. Lavinson began her career with ICF Consulting, where she worked in the company's climate change practice for clients such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, World Bank and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Lavinson received her bachelor's degree in economics from Hamilton College.
Matthew O'Brien is Associate Editor for The Atlantic.
Eric Toder is a codirector of the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. In 2010, he served as a consultant to the debt reduction task force of the Bipartisan Policy Center. Toder was also a chair of the Tax Gap Subgroup, which assists the IRS in its analyses of taxpayer compliance, and treasurer of the National Tax Association. Toder's research includes papers on the value-added tax, the home mortgage interest deduction, distributional effects of major preferences in the income tax law, tax incentives for retirement saving, corporate income tax reform, effects of recent changes in pension coverage and stock prices on retirement income, and employment of older workers.
Before joining the Urban Institute, Toder held a number of positions in tax policy offices in the United States and overseas, including deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis in the U.S. Treasury Department, deputy assistant director for tax analysis at the Congressional Budget Office, director of the IRS Office of Research, and consultant to the New Zealand Treasury.
Toder holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University of Rochester.
Stephen J. Ubl
Stephen J. Ubl is President and CEO of AdvaMed, the world's largest medical technology association.
Ubl is recognized as a top health care advocate and policy expert across multiple health policy sectors, having successfully worked with medical technology manufacturers, hospitals, patient groups, physicians and public and private payers.
His lobbying accomplishments include passing landmark reforms related to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration product review process and Medicare's coverage and reimbursement of medical technologies.
In May 2007 Ubl was named a Top Association Lobbyist in The Hill newspaper’s annual list of top lobbyists. He first joined AdvaMed in 1998 as executive vice president of federal government relations. He left the organization in 2004 to open his own health care consulting firm, which served clients including Fortune 500 health care companies and leading investment banks. In July 2005, Ubl was chosen to lead AdvaMed as its President and CEO.
Prior to AdvaMed, Ubl was Vice President of Legislation for the Federation of American Hospitals. Ubl began his Washington career on Capitol Hill, where he worked for U.S. Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA.).
Ubl holds a degree in Political Science from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.
Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the President & CEO of the Council on Competitiveness (Council). Founded in 1986, this unique business-labor-academia coalition of leading CEO’s University Presidents and Labor Union Leaders put forth actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.
An internationally renowned leading voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology, and international economic policy, Ms. Wince-Smith has been credited with recharging the national debate on competitiveness, innovation and resilience. Ms. Wince-Smith is frequently called upon to testify in front of the US Congress and appears regularly on global television news networks including Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN and Fox News.
William Bates, Chief of Staff for the Council of Competitiveness ,explains that labor is no longer the primary determinant as far as cost for big companies like Apple, which could mean bringing more manufacturing jobs to the U.S.