Research thought leader, keynote speaker, consultant

Dr. Michele Madansky is a digital advertising expert and sought after media and market research consultant.

Michele is also co-author of the most widely cited research study on gender bias in tech, The Elephant In the Valley.  

She is available for speaking engagements as well as consulting for digital brands and/or companies promoting inclusiveness and gender equality within their organizations.

Michele Madansky
“Michele is one of the best minds in advertising research. She provides creative thinking and flawless execution to provide truly groundbreaking thought leadership.”
— Edwin Wong, SVP of Research and Insights, BuzzFeed


“Whenever I have insights needs, Michele is my first point of contact. She has been my de facto research lead at my last four companies.”
— Elizabeth Harz, CEO, Sittercity

Dr. Michele Madansky has worked with many of the top publishers and digital media companies for the past decade.

Her interdisciplinary insights approach integrates qualitative methods (focus groups, ethnography, user experience research) with survey research, secondary research and data mining to identify approaches best suited to her clients’ needs.

Client engagements include developing unique research methodologies and initiatives, and providing quantitative analysis, insights and strategies. Clients also may also leverage her experience in providing effective leadership and management for research departments, whether large or small. 

Areas of Expertise Include

• Thought leadership on consumer and media insights

• Cross-platform advertising effectiveness

• Brand positioning

• Digital product development

Examples of Client Projects



Digital Only Media Brands




Huffington Post








SAY Media




Martini Media

Cross Platform Publishers



Time Inc.



Martha Stewart

The New York Times

E-Commerce/Mobile Apps




Marketing Mix Modeling/Analytics



Industry Organizations

3% Movement

Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement



Michele is a frequent speaker at international advertising and marketing conferences. She also speaks and moderates panels on gender bias and inclusion. She was a featured keynote speaker at SXSW.

Please contact Michele to schedule a speaking engagement at your company or industry event.

SXSW Keynote

Elephant in the Valley
Austin, TX – March 2016
Moderated a keynote panel including Trae Vassallo (former Kleiner Perkins partner), Megan Smith (CTO of the United States under Obama) and Laura Weidman Powers (co-founder Code 2040)


Anita Borg Partner Meeting

Elephant in the Valley
San Jose, CA – May 2016
Learn More
Co-presented research findings with Trae Vassallo

i-Com Global Summit

GenZ Changing the Media Game
Porto – April 2017
Insights on college students’ media behaviors with Graeme Hutton from UM

i-Com Global Summit

The Data Driven Marketing Officer
San Sebastian – April 2015
Michele moderates a panel with Harvey Goldhersz, Chief Data Officer & CEO GroupM Analytics, USA and Glenn White, Director of Media Infrastructure, EA

3% Conference

Elephant On Madison Avenue
New York, NY – November 2016
Michele participates in a panel presenting the latest research on gender equality in advertising

Advertising Week

Marketing to the Millennial Traveller
New York, NY – September 2016
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Co-presented original research developed for Adara with Lynn Bader

Youth Marketing Summit

Moments That Matter in College
Brooklyn, NY – October 2016
Learn More
Co-presented original research developed for Chegg with Kevin Moeller from UM


Elephant on Madison Avenue
Austin, TX – March 2017
Learn More
Moderated featured panel with Brad Jakeman, PepsiCo, Lisen Stromberg, 3% Leslie Wingo, SandersWingo

2017 Insights Association Leadership Conference

The Marketing Research Workplace: A Look at Gender Issues
Palm Springs, FL – September 2017
Learn More
Presented the results of original research on gender issues in Marketing Research

Creative Convergence Silicon Valley (C2SV)

Elephant in the Valley
San Jose, CA – October 2016
Keynote panel with Lisen Stromberg and Hillary Mickell

The Elephant in the Valley

“‘Elephant in the Valley’ survey sheds light on issues women face in tech.”
— Techcrunch


Michele is co-author of The Elephant in the Valley, a 2015 study on gender bias in Silicon Valley.  The Elephant in the Valley is the most cited research on the extent of conscious and unconscious bias in tech, and has been mentioned in publications as far reaching as Vogue and The Irish Times.  The Elephant in the Valley inspired a keynote address at SXSW in 2016, which Michele moderated.


Since publishing The Elephant in the Valley, Michele has partnered with organizations in other industries to field similar surveys.  Most notably, she has partnered with:

• The 3% Movement on Elephant on Madison Avenue

The Insights Association on a study re: gender bias in Marketing Research  

• AutoNews also leveraged the survey instrument and published a special supplement about gender bias in the Automotive Industry

The research was launched in a podcast on re/code. Read more about cross-industry results on Michele’s Medium Page, Beyond The Elephant in the Valley.



Dr. Michele Madansky leads a media and market research consultancy specializing in digital media and advertising. She has worked with some of the top media companies including BuzzFeed, ESPN, Pinterest, Time Inc., Hearst, Twitter, The New York Times, YouTube, GSN, Chegg and BabyCenter.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Madansky was the first interactive specialist at BBDO (pre-Netscape). She also authored the first Ph.D. dissertation focused on online advertising. From 2003 to 2007, Michele was Vice President of Global Market Research for Yahoo! Prior to joining Yahoo!, she was managing partner at Grey Insight Partners, an analytics consultancy.

Dr. Madansky holds a Sc.B. from Brown University, and an MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. She is is a frequent industry speaker at events ranging from the ARF, i-com and the Youth Marketing Summit, and, was a keynote speaker at SXSW in 2016. Dr. Madansky is on the Advertising Research Foundation’s Women in Analytics Advisory Board and on the program board for i-com (Global Forum for Marketing Data and Measurement). She has also been a lecturer at Haas Graduate School of Business.

Board Work

Wogrammer 2017-2018
• San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2011-2012

advisory roles

• Zip2 (acquired by Compaq)
• Slideshare (acquired by LinkedIn)
• Martini Media (purchased by Evolve Media)

Dr. Madansky is open to additional Advisory and Board of Director positions.


• I-COM (Global Forum for Marketing Data and Measurement) - Consumer Content Committee
• Advertising Research Foundation - Women in Analytics

Expert Witness

Michele has served as an expert witness on a patent infringement case in the case of advertising research technology representing the defendant. Michele wrote an expert report and was deposed and prepped for trial. The suit was settled before trial and the defendant was reimbursed for attorney’s fees in this “meritless patent case”.


Lecturer at
• University of California Berkeley, Haas Graduate School of Business

Guest lecturer at
• Stanford Graduate School of Business
• Fuqua School of Business
• Johnson Graduate School of Management
• Queens College
• Wharton
• Chicago Booth