GCP Advisory Board

Growth Catalyst Partners is supported by a world class Advisory Board who assist its partners in various capacities including firm strategy, team development, industry sector trends and dynamics, economic analysis. Advisory Board members also provide access to a vast network of industry executives and thought leaders.

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Russ Carson, Chairman

Since 1978, Russ Carson has been a general partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), one of the country’s largest private investment firms, which he co-founded.  WCAS has raised over $20 billion of capital in 16 limited partnerships over the past 37 years and specializes in investing in companies in the information technology and healthcare industries.

From 1967 to 1978, Mr. Carson was employed by the Citicorp Venture Capital subsidiary of Citicorp and served as its chairman and chief executive officer from 1974 to 1978.

Mr. Carson received a BA degree in economics from Dartmouth College in 1965 and an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1967.

Community Affairs Involvement:

  • Chairman, The Rockefeller University

  • Co-Chairman, New York Genome Center

  • Chairman, Partnership for Inner-City Education

  • Vice Chairman, Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Chairman, Budget and Finance Committee, New York-Presbyterian Hospital System

  • Co-Chairman, Nominating & Governance Committee, 9/11 Memorial and Museum

  • Chairman, The Carson Family Charitable Trust, New York

  • Member, Columbia Business School Board of Overseers

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Glenn Hubbard

Glenn Hubbard is dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School.  He is a specialist in public finance, managerial information and incentive problems in corporate finance and financial markets and institutions.  Hubbard has applied his research interests in business (as a consultant on taxation and corporate finance to many corporations), in government (as chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, as deputy assistant of the U.S. Treasury Department and as a consultant to the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of New York and many government agencies) and in academia (in faculty collaboration or visiting appointments at Columbia, University of Chicago and Harvard).

In addition to writing more than 100 scholarly articles in economics and finance, Mr. Hubbard is the author of three popular textbooks, as well as co-author of The Aid Trap: Hard Truths About Ending Poverty, Balance: The Economics of Great Powers From Ancient Rome to Modern America, and Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better Health Care System.  His commentaries appear in Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, Nikkei, and the Daily Yomiuri, as well as on television and radio.

From 2001 until 2003, Mr. Hubbard was chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers. From 1991 until 1993, Mr. Hubbard was deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  In the corporate sector, he serves on the boards of ADP, BlackRock Closed-End Funds, and MetLife.

Mr. Hubbard is co-chair of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, he is a past chair of the Economic Club of New York and he is a past co-chair of the Study Group on Corporate Boards.

Mr. Hubbard received his BA and BS degrees summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida and also holds a PhD degree in economics from Harvard University.

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Rishad Tobaccowala

Rishad is Chief Growth Officer and member of the Management Committee of Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communication firm with 80,000 employees. He was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation and TIME magazine dubbed him one of five “Marketing Innovators.”

Rishad is currently working on a business book to be published in 2019 by Harper Collins. His writings can be found on the Re-Inventing blog. 

Prior to his current role, Rishad was the Chief Strategist and Member of the Directoire/+ of Publicis Groupe. Before his corporate role, Rishad was the Chairman of DigitasLBi and Razorfish, two global firms owned by the Publicis Groupe with over 10,000 employees around the world focused on marketing and business transformation.

Rishad has 36 years of experience around the world and helped grow, founded/co-founded or incubated a variety of companies including VivaKi, Leo Burnett, Starcom, SMG Next, Starcom IP, Giant Step, Play, and Denuo.

Rishad has a BS in Mathematics from the University of Bombay and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.


Mitch Barns

Mitch Barns was the CEO of Nielsen from 2014 to 2018. Since joining Nielsen in 1997, Mitch has lived and worked on three continents and held leadership roles across all major parts of Nielsen’s business. Throughout 2013, he served as President, Global Client Service, leading the efforts of Nielsen’s client service organization worldwide. Before that, he was President of Nielsen’s U.S. Media business from 2011 – 2013, where he oversaw the development of its analytics practice, guided the integration of its TV and Digital groups and helped transform the unit’s client service model to focus on driving performance improvement and value for Nielsen’s clients. From 2008-2011, Mitch served as President of Nielsen’s Greater China business where he led its transition to a fast-growing, standalone region. In the early 2000s, he was President of Nielsen’s BASES and Analytic Consulting businesses, which have since become the core of the company’s growing analytics business. Mitch first joined the company as part of Nielsen BASES, where he held various senior positions in the U.S. and Europe. Mitch began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he spent 12 years in marketing research and brand management.

  • BS Finance from Miami University

  • Stanford Executive Program, Stanford Graduate School of Business – 2010

  • Director, Monsanto (NYSE: MON) acquired by Bayer AG – April 2016 to June 2018

  • Director, CECP (non-profit association of CEOs encouraging societal good) – 2016 to present

  • Director, WCA (non-profit producer of Global Leadership Summit) – 2015 to present

  • Member, Board of Trustees, Paley Center for Media – 2014 to 2018

  • Member, American Heart Association CEO Roundtable – 2014 to 2018


  • Chief Executive magazine’s “Top 40 Companies for Leaders” three straight years

  • DiversityInc “Top 50” company five consecutive years

  • Forbes “World’s Most Innovative Companies” in 2017

  • JUST Capital’s “JUST 100" in 2017 and 2018, #1 in segment both years

  • Wall Street Journal's "Best Run Companies of 2018"