Yale School of Management

Center For Customer Insights

Advancing the frontiers of consumer understanding


YCCI leadership comprises award-winning faculty members and staff with an impressive depth and breadth of customer insights experience.  Our team works together seamlessly to continue to advance the frontiers of evolving customer behavior.

Ravi Dhar

George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing, Yale School of Management; Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Yale University; Director, Center for Customer Insights

Professor Dhar is an expert in consumer behavior and branding, marketing management, and marketing strategy. He has consulted to companies in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, high tech and luxury goods. His research involves using psychological and economic principles to identify successful consumer and competitive strategies in the offline and online marketplace. He has been involved in pioneering work in understanding the different factors that influence consumer choice and his research has received several major awards.

His work has been mentioned in Business Week, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, USA Today, and other popular media. He has been a visiting professor at HEC Graduate School of Management in Paris, Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.

He has written more than 50 articles and serves on the editorial boards of several of leading marketing journals, such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Marketing Science. He has led marketing seminars for senior executives in Asia, Europe, and North and South America.  Professor Dhar was honored with the Distinguished Scientific Accomplishment Award of the Society for Consumer Psychology in March 2013.  The American Marketing Association recently ranked Professor Dhar as the second most productive scholar publishing in premier marketing journals from 2009 through 2016.

K. Sudhir

James L. Frank Professor of Private Enterprise and Management, Yale School of Management; Director, China India Insights Program

Professor Sudhir’s research focuses on gaining market insights by analyzing consumer and firm actions through econometric modeling. He is currently focused on research on consumers in emerging markets. He has consulted for Fortune 500 firms across many industries, including technology, financial services, entertainment and retailing. Professor Sudhir specializes in analyzing firms’ internal data to obtain actionable market insights.

His research has been honored with numerous awards across all major quantitative marketing journals. He received the Bass Award from Marketing Science and the Lehmann Award from the Journal of Marketing Research; he has honorable mentions for the Wittink Award in Quantitative Marketing and Economics, and the Best Paper Award from the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Professor Sudhir has also been a finalist for the John D.C. Little Award from the Marketing Science and the Paul E. Green Award from the Journal of Marketing Research. He serves on the editorial boards of all the leading quantitative marketing journals: Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science and Quantitative Marketing and Economics.

Nathan Novemsky

Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management;  Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Yale University

Professor Novemsky is Professor of Marketing at the Yale School of Management and has an appointment as Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Yale University.  As part of the YCCI, he actively partners with practitioners to develop new insights into customer behavior that are both relevant to practitioners and new to the academic literature. 

He is an expert in the psychology of judgment and decision-making, an area that overlaps heavily with behavioral economics and consumer behavior. His research examines how people know what they like, how the ways in which they frame decisions affect the choices they make, and how their goals influence their behavior, among other topics.

Professor Novemsky  teaches Problem Framing, a course unique to the Yale School of Management that  shows managers how to give structure to unstructured situations in a way that maximizes their chances of making good long-term decisions. It also teaches them how to avoid the pitfalls characteristic of behavioral economics by understanding how natural psychological tendencies can derail optimal decision-making.

Jennie Liu

Executive Director, Center for Customer Insights; Lecturer in the Practice of Management 

Jennie brings to the YCCI experience in marketing, brand building, and harnessing customer empathy and experience to drive strategic innovation.

Prior to her role at Yale, Jennie was the Executive Director of North America Marketing at The Estée Lauder Companies, leading initiatives for the Clinique brand with retailer-specific strategies and omni-channel programming development for some of the brand’s fastest growing retail partners in North America.  

During her time with Clinique, Jennie was a champion for the brand’s expansion into open service shopping environments such as Ulta and Sephora, where she worked on both in-store and digital programs.  She led initiatives that established pipelines of innovation for impulse and retailer-exclusive promotions, and brought new ways of thinking about the retailer as a customer, which included targeted programs for highly influential sales team members, such as the Sephora Pro Team and Nordstrom Beauty Stylists.  Jennie also worked to expand Clinique’s presence in several retailer loyalty programs, and was a driving force behind the launch of Clinique’s first offering for high-value Sephora consumers.

In addition to her marketing experience, Jennie has worked in Hong Kong in business development as well as in corporate finance.  Jennie received her MBA from the Yale School of Management and BA from Vanderbilt University. She was the winner of both the McKinsey Net Impact Case Competition and the Y50K For-Profit business plan competition during her time at Yale.

Treeny Ahmed

Executive Director, Center for Customer Insights; Lecturer in the Practice of Management


Treeny joins the Yale Center for Customer insights with over 15 years of experience in strategy, brand building, and successfully launching new products at Fortune 500 retail and franchise companies. She has a track record of identifying new business opportunities and turning around ailing business units for success.
Prior to her role at Yale, Treeny was the Senior Director of Marketing at Edible Arrangements where she led national and local marketing efforts across 1200 stores. She headed Edible’s brand transformation from a Gifting heritage company to a Gifts and Treats brand. She spearheaded their retail channel growth strategy by segmenting store groups and creating specialized tools for each segment, driving increased sales and profitability. While at Edible she also developed the marketing launch plan for a new line of immediate consumption products that are sold across the Edible footprint of stores today.
Her prior experiences include leading an innovative media campaign that was profiled in the New York Times for a leading chain of convenience stores, and the relaunch of Bath & Body Works’ Home Fragrance business. Prior to business school, she worked as an investment banker in the technology group at Morgan Stanley.
Treeny grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, and speaks 5 languages. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and an A.B in Economics from Harvard University where she was a recipient of the John Harvard Scholarship for academic achievement and a member of the Radcliffe Pitches and the Hasty Pudding Club. 

whalenRyan Whalen

Director, Strategic Partnerships,  Center for Customer Insights

Ryan brings to the YCCI experience across government, management consulting, startup and e-commerce. From advising state agencies on data and decision-making to leading sales and operations for consumer brands, Ryan’s diverse background has focused on turning insights into action.     

Prior to Yale, Ryan led sales and strategy for an emerging business category at Wayfair, a leading global e-commerce retailer based in Boston. In his role, Ryan led category growth efforts and integrated with a global supply chain and logistics operation. His leadership helped develop and implement a new sourcing and merchandising strategy and built out capabilities for an enhanced customer experience, both online and at home. During his time at Wayfair, Ryan was also responsible for managing strategic relationships with key supplier partners, including leading negotiations and strategic initiatives with global industry leaders. Prior to Wayfair, Ryan held roles in management consulting where he helped government organizations develop strategies and use data for informed decision-making. Ryan also worked in healthcare technology and led operations for a food startup in Boston.

Ryan earned an M.S. in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Public Policy from the McCormack Graduate School at UMASS in Boston where his dissertation research focused on decision-making in state agencies.

Dan BlanchardDan Blanchard

Associate Director, Center for Customer Insights

Dan Blanchard serves as the Associate Director of the Yale Center for Customer Insights, where he is responsible for a wide array of initiatives, including managing faculty research projects, leading the Center’s conferences and events, and overseeing communications strategy and digital content management.  

Prior to joining the YCCI, Dan worked in the Publicity Department of Yale University Press, where he contributed to hundreds of book projects and landed placements in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Review of Books. Most recently, he supported the Center for Customer Insights as an  Assistant Director.

Dan graduated magna cum laude from Quinnipiac University in 2010, where he received a B.A. in Public Relations.

EmilyEmily Ludington

Assistant Director of Communications & Events,  Center for Customer Insights

Emily serves as the Assistant Director of Communications and Events for the YCCI. She works largely with the Faculty and Executive Directors to manage the lifecycle and execution of engaging and high-quality events both internally and externally. Prior to joining the YCCI as a senior administrative assistant in 2016, Emily worked in events and education for nonprofits and museums including the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.  

Emily graduated cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in History.