The Catalyst Research team uses our broad experience in public affairs, publishing, media, science, and technology, as well as a growing network of advisors and subject-matter experts, to gather and shape information, build sustainable strategies, and transform outcomes.


Nick Yaeger, Managing Partner

Nick Yaeger is Managing Partner for Catalyst Research, where he oversees strategy, operations, and client management. Previously, he served as Vice President at POLITICO during a period of major expansion and growth, with a portfolio that included co-founding the publication’s award-winning brand studio, as well as oversight of the events and digital advertising technology teams. Before that, Nick was Co-founder and CEO of, a data marketing platform which provided enterprise data solutions and digital creative services for Fortune 500 companies across the entertainment, travel and technology industries. Prior to, Nick served in various leadership capacities at startups, agencies, and publishers. He started his career on Capitol Hill. Nick has a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Bucknell University.

Mark Drapeau, Partner and Chief Research Officer

Mark Drapeau is Partner and Chief Research Officer for Catalyst Research, where he is responsible for all aspects of client research, analysis, and insights. Prior to consulting for leading Fortune 100 and nonprofit organizations, he worked at Microsoft in Washington, DC on a national portfolio of innovative projects. Before that, he conducted both policy and laboratory research while holding AAAS and NIH fellowships at the National Defense University’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy and New York University, respectively. Drapeau has a BS in Biology from the University of Rochester and a PhD in Biology from the University of California – Irvine. His writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Times, Science, and other publications.

Shannen Patel, Research Analyst (Content & Insights)

Shannen Patel is a Research Analyst (Content & Insights) at Catalyst Research. She has previously conducted academic and private sector research on topics including regional conflict resolution and peace-building efforts in South Asia, U.S. security policy, and sustainability. Most recently, she assisted with public affairs campaigns and research efforts in the private sector to aid advocacy efforts in Washington DC. Patel has a BA in International Relations with a Concentration in Security Policy from The George Washington University.


Aerica Shimizu Banks

Aerica Shimizu Banks is a tech policy expert and inclusion innovator. She is the founder of Shiso, a consultancy that applies an intersectional equity lens to tech, policy, and business solutions. She was named a Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine and a Forbes 30 Under 30 list Social Entrepreneur. She founded Pinterest’s Washington, DC office and led federal affairs, and prior to that led diversity and equity initiatives on Google’s legal team and served as the Black small business liaison for the DC area. Banks holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Public Affairs from Seattle University and a MSc in Environmental Policy from Oxford University.

Christopher Stanton

Prof. Christopher T. Stanton is the Marvin Bower Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit of Harvard Business School. He is also affiliated with the HBS Digital Initiative and the Harvard Laboratory for Innovation Science. Overall, Stanton’s research in applied economics seeks to understand how technology is changing the management and nature of work, and it has been cited by media outlets including The Economist, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Stanton has a BA and MA in Political Science from Emory University and a PhD in Business Administration from Stanford University.

David Audretsch

Prof. David B. Audretsch is the Distinguished Professor and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development, along with Director of the Institute of Development Strategies at the O’Neill School of Public Affairs, Indiana University. He is also the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Small Business Economics. Author of a dozen books, Audretsch’s research has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development and global competitiveness. He has consulted for the World Bank and numerous private corporations, state governments, and a number of European governments. Audretsch has a BA in Economics from Drew University and an MS and PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

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