Michigan Ross School of Business
Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication

Advisory Boards


An international advisory board of scholars from many relevant disciplines advises the Center on research and teaching

  • Robert Cialdini
    Regents' Professor of Psychology, Arizona State University PhD, University of North Carolina, 1970.

    Dr. Cialdini is a well-known social psychologist whose current research interests include persuasion and compliance, altruism, and the tactics of favorable self-presentation. He has been named Graduate College Distinguished Research Professor. He is the author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

  • Donna Hoffman
    Chancellor’s Professor of Marketing and Co-Director, Sloan Center for Internet Retailing, University of California-Riverside PhD, University of North Carolina.

    Her research focuses on Internet marketing strategy, consumer behavior in online environments, and the policy implications of commercializing the Internet. She has published widely in top marketing and management journals and speaks frequently on Internet commerce strategy. In October 1998, she was appointed to the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee Socio-Economic and Workforce Panel. She was recently voted the top Internet scientist in an international survey.

  • Shaun Jackson
    Associate Professor, School of Art & Design, Associate Professor, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan BS Arch., University of Michigan.

    A well-known industrial designer, Mr. Jackson holds more than 50 patents and has received many international honors. His teaching responsibilities undergraduate core courses as well as graduate-level product design and business classes. He maintains an active design consultancy serving clients such as General Electric Medical Systems, Herman Miller, Nike, L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, Harley Davidson, and Patagonia. He has also served as trustee of the Worldesign Foundation.

  • Conrad Kottak
    Research Affiliate, Population Studies Center, Professor of Anthropology, Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan PhD, Columbia University, 1966.

    Dr. Kottak’s recent research focuses on changes in American culture, work, and life; on everyday behavior, and on the roles of media and consumption patterns in our lives. He is widely published. He is currently co-writing a book based on research into the ways middle class families use media in planning, managing and evaluating their choices to balance competing demands of work and family. He and his son, Nicholas Kottak, PhD., are associates in a market research and brand strategy consulting firm.

  • John Leckenby
    Professor of Advertising and Collier Centennial Professor of Communication, University of Texas at Austin PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Dr. Leckenby’s major research interests include media reach/frequency models and copy research. He has served on the Copy Research Council of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), and as President of the American Academy of Advertising (AAA). He is currently Director of the Center for Interactive Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Paul Messaris Kuleshov Professor of Communications, Associate Dean of Undergrad Communications, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania PhD, University of Pennsylvania.

    Dr. Messaris teaches and studies visual communication. His most recent research deals with digital special effects in fiction film, and he is working on a book about viewers' reactions to the style and content of movies. He also serves on the executive committee of the Digital Media Design major, an interdisciplinary program devoted to advanced computer media, and involving the Schools of Engineering, Fine Arts, and Annenberg.

  • Laura Oswald
    Associate Professor of Advertising and Consumer Behavior, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign PhD, New York University.

    Dr. Oswald is an international expert in brand strategy, consumer research, and semiotics – a branch of anthropology devoted to understanding the ways signs and symbols shape culture. Her academic and professional research includes automotive, cosmetics, food, entertainment, electronics, retailing, health care, corporate culture and public policy.

  • Richard Petty
    Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Ohio State University PhD, Ohio State University.

    Dr. Petty's research focuses broadly on the factors responsible for changes in beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. His current research interests include understanding the role of meta-cognitive and unconscious factors in persuasion and resistance to change; the effect of racial and ethnic prejudice, stereotypes, and specific emotions on social judgment and behavior; and investigating how people correct their evaluations for various biases such stereotypes they hold or emotions they are experiencing. He is widely published.

  • Norbert Schwarz
    Professor of Psychology, Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research, and Professor of Marketing, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan PhD, University of Mannheim.

    Dr. Schwarz’s research focuses on human judgment and cognition, including the interplay of feeling and thinking, the socially situated nature of cognition, and the implications of basic cognitive and communicative processes for public opinion, consumer behavior and social science research. He is widely published and serves as associate or consulting editor for many journals in the behavioral sciences.

  • Linda M. Scott
    Reader in Marketing, University of Oxford PhD, University of Texas.

    Linda Scott joined Oxford’s Saïd Business School in 2006. She has written extensively on cultural issues related to advertising and consumption. She is on the board of the Advertising Educational Foundation in New York and is the editor of Advertising & Society Review. Her current research interests focus on women's empowerment in emerging markets and changing symbol systems in the globalizing consumer culture.

  • Michael Traugott
    Research Professor, Center for Political Studies, Professor, Communications Studies, and Adjunct Professor, Political Science, University of Michigan PhD, University of Michigan.

    Dr. Traugott studies the mass media and their impact on American politics, including the use of the media by candidates in their campaigns and its impact on voters, as well as the ways that campaigns are covered and the impact of this coverage on candidates. He has a particular interest in the use of surveys and polls and the way they are used to cover campaigns and elections. First results of his work on developing an understanding of the impact of new voting technology on voters' attitudes and behavior are now appearing as conference papers.


    The following corporate sponsors make up the Yaffe Center's Industry Advisory Board:

    • Peter Schweitzer, Former Chairman
      J. Walter Thompson Company

      As the former Worldwide President and North American Chairman, Schweitzer played a major role in developing the strategic outlook necessary for the organization's ongoing success. Mr. Schweitzer spent three decades at JWT, the world's fourth largest advertising agency network and largest U.S. agency. During his tenure, he led clients and the agency through tremendous changes in the communications industry and transformed JWT into a creative-driven, total-communications partnership with its clients. Mr. Schweitzer is an active member of many civic groups and served on many charitable boards. He received his MBA from Western Michigan University and his BA from the University of Michigan.

    • Fred Yaffe, CEO Yaffe Group
      Yaffe Center Founder

      Mr. Yaffe is the founder of the Yaffe Center. For a short biography and more information on Mr. Yaffe and his company, please see the Founder page.

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