Bruno Roche | Chief Economist & Catalyst Managing Director, Mars, Incorporated

Bruno leads Catalyst, a global thought leadership capability and ‘think tank' for Mars Inc. Over the last decade under Bruno’s leadership, Catalyst has developed a number of cutting edge initiatives, recognized as such by Mars, the industry and the scientific community, in critical areas such as:

Economics of Mutuality (Making Business Mutual)

A multi-year, multi-disciplinary research program (joined with Oxford Said Business School and leading economic schools) to develop a new rigorous management methodology to decipher how a business can simultaneously promote profitable businesses and wider ecosystem benefits in the form of human, social, natural and shared financial capital – by extending the scope of traditional business performance beyond financial metrics and incorporating actionable metrics across multiple forms of capital. This breakthrough initiative is developing through pragmatic business pilots (with Mars segments and other companies) and strong academic research. It has become part of the Oxford MBA program since 2015.

Culture Lab

A fusion of social sciences approaches (anthropology, sociology) to tap into a huge untapped asset (corporate culture) to preserve M&A value, be a force multiplier for strategies and nurture the corporate culture.

Demand Lab

A cutting edge research program (combining big data analytics, behavioral economics and management sciences) to measure the impact of marketing & sales investments on growth - and invent new routes to market (e.g., digital, Base of the Pyramid).

Catalyst operates globally from several locations (Europe, Asia, USA) and maintains an unusual diversity of disciplines and practitioners (math, sociology, anthropology, economics, artificial intelligence, psychology, political sciences, historians, MBAs, PhDs etc.). Furthermore, the team currently represents 10 different nationalities.

Over the last decade, Bruno has also introduced new ways of working at Catalyst based on a “connect & develop” model i.e. an approach that aims at establishing a network innovation based on a fluid network of interconnected experts – from leading academic institutions around the world, across academic disciplines, with NGO’s, other think tanks, etc. This approach is developing successfully and is increasingly giving Catalyst & Mars a competitive advantage to adapt to the knowledge economy era.

Bruno has been a member of the Word Economic Forum, and before leading Catalyst, he has held several positions at Mars — in Catalyst and in the business (in Italy, France and the UK).

His education & academic research followed a mathematics & computer science path with a specialization in international economics & finance. 

Bruno is French and has lived and studied in France, UK, US, Italy and Belgium. He currently lives in Brussels with his wife Marianne and their four children.

Jay Jakub, D.Phil. | Senior Director for External Research

Jay serves Catalyst in multiple capacities.  First, he functions as the ‘COO’ of the team, assisting the Managing Director in all facets of management and planning.  In his external research capacity, he line manages those charged with leading Catalyst’s quantitative and qualitative research programs, and he oversees / leads the recruitment and management of the unit’s large and growing stable of multidisciplinary external partners (fellows) from academia, international organizations, NGOs, other think tanks, etc.   Finally, Jay co-manages Catalyst's Mutuality Lab and line manages the director of the Culture Lab.  His doctorate is from Oxford University, St. John's College, and prior to joining Mars Catalyst at the start of 2007, he spent nearly two decades in various government positions in the US executive and legislative branches. He is married to Eleni with whom he has two teenage children.  Jay is based in the Mars, Incorporated global headquarters in McLean, Virginia outside Washington, D.C.


Vocation, Family, Mutuality Driving a Higher Level of Business Performance, New Business Model Innovation, Multidisciplinary Expert Network Development, Organizational Culture (for strategy and M&A integration),  Social / Human / Natural / Shared Financial Capital Measurement, History, Sports, Reading.  

Yassine El Ouarzazi | Demand Lab Director                        

Yassine grew up in Morocco, and studied Engineering and Physics in France. He has worked in Marketing & Sales Analytics in the Financial and Automotive industries before joining Catalyst.


Management Sciences, New Technology, Behavioral Sciences, Data Science, Economics, Education.          


Clara Shen | Catalyst Director of Emerging Markets

Clara oversees Business Model Innovation in the Mutuality Lab, working with business segments and leaders to conceptualize and implement breakthrough business models to help Mars to deliver on its objective “to become the most mutual company in the world”.   This includes testing new innovative economic development approaches, e.g., the micro-entrepreneurship models in Kenya (MAUA) and the Philippines (BLOOM) to reach 'billions of new consumers' at the middle of the diamond (aka base of the pyramid).  I am open to meeting new partners/expertise/contributions to drive the success of Catalyst research and activities.

Clara has had a long-standing interest in entrepreneurship and impact investing. Prior to joining Mars, Clara was the co-founder of a biotechnology startup focused on cell therapies and regenerative medicine (based at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology).  Clara holds a BA from Harvard and an MBA from INSEAD.


Impact Investing, Emerging Markets, Multidisciplinary Expert Network Development, New Business Model Innovation, Economics of Mutuality, Social / Human / Natural Capital Measurement, Start-ups, Community Development, Health and Wellbeing

Bojan Angelov | Culture Lab Director

Bojan leads the culture research practice at Catalyst – internal think-tank of Mars, Incorporated – as the director of the Culture Lab. Prior to this role, he was the principal and founder of two lines and a dot, an innovation management and service design studio. Bojan was an Adjunct Professor at Parsons The New School for Design (New York) and a Lecturer and Research Fellow at Polytechnic Institute of New York University. His research includes various topics related to culture, innovation and design management, and service design. Bojan holds a PhD in Technology Management from Polytechnic Institute of New York University, as well as an MS in Management and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University (New York).


Culture, organization, innovation, management, design management, service design, space, business model innovation, disruptive innovation

Francesco Cordaro | Catalyst Senior Scientist

Franco hails from Torino, Italy, and hold a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Torino. He completed a post-doc fellowship at University of Leuven, Belgium and since September 2000 he has worked as a research scientist at Catalyst.

Franco's past projects include data mining applied to TV advertising effectiveness and cocoa pod-count. Currently, he is working on the Economics of Mutuality covering Social Capital, Wellbeing at Work, and Environmental impact.


Social Capital, Wellbeing at work, Environmental sustainability                     

Lionel Khalil | Big Data & Analytics Research Program Manager

Lionel Khalil is Catalyst's “Knowledge Entrepreneur.” On Big Data and Analytics Research Programs, Lionel focuses on the challenges and opportunities of the CPG business model, both in the offline and the digital spaces, and develops the strategic vision for the Mars Big Data and Analytics practice in order to address these challenges and opportunities. He is based in our Brussels office.

Lionel has a long-standing interest in Data and Decision Sciences Data. Prior to joining Mars, Lionel worked in applying financial quantitative methods to businesses by developing, implementing and extending algorithms for real-time pricing for sociological analysis and marketing. A veteran of real-time algorithmic Volatility Trading with 10-years of experience in Financial Modeling and experienced in managing in-house Quantitative Team, Lionel was also a Director at KPMG Financial Services.  Lionel holds a PhD in Applied Math and an Engineering Degree from the Ecole Polytechnique Paris, a J.D in Private Law from University of Paris Est, and an executive MBA Trium from NYU- LSE - HEC Paris.


A legal advisor heavily involved in associations for data protection legislation, promotion of e-learning and in the combat of online fraud.

Alastair Colin-Jones | Senior Manager for Business Research

Alastair Colin-Jones is the Senior Manager for Business Research at Mars Catalyst. He is based in Oxford and is responsible for supporting the day-to-day management of joint research programme. Currently, he also manages the ongoing research exploring the creation and management of partnerships between large for-profit corporations and citizen sector organisations. Alastair is particularly interested the ‘translation’ and effective communication of academic research into actionable insights for practitioner audiences across sectors.

Previously, Alastair was the Knowledge Manager at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School. Alastair has a first class degree in Theology with a focus on Islam and an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy, both from the University of Oxford.


Business model innovation, entrepreneurship, social innovation, management theory, cross-sector partnerships, normative theory, social justice, theories of religion, and Liverpool FC.

Emilie Honner | Global Catalyst Coordinator

Emilie joined Mars in 2013 as the Global Catalyst Coordinator. Before joining Mars, Emilie worked in communications at the European Parliament and as a junior advocacy officer in a Brussels-based human rights NGO. Emilie studied Law and European studies in France and Belgium and has lived in London, Casablanca, Sophia-Antipolis, Aix-en-Provence, and Brussels.


CSR – economics of mutuality, social & environmental issues, health & nutrition, international human rights, events management, travel, handicraft

Catalyst Fellows

Yichen Rao

Yichen is the Project Manager developing the Hua Kai model in China. Hua Kai is our route to market model for the middle of the diamond in China — the MAUA of China. Yichen is based in Guangzhou.

Yichen grew up in Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province, China and is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and the local Jiangxi (and related) dialects. He is a recent graduate from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) where he completed his M. Phil. in Anthropology with a Psychological Anthropology focus.  Yichen has experience conducting empirical research in the field of psychological wellbeing and public health, including his M.Phil dissertation based on a three-month immersive fieldwork in a special treatment camp for “Internet addicts” and “problematic youth” in Beijing. Subsequently, he joined a public health team (COMDIS-HSD China) led by Leeds University and CUHK, researching the dilemma of antibiotics usage on children through home and clinic visits in rural Guangxi.

He is interested in applying what he learned about understanding people in the field of anthropology to the real practice of benefiting people through social innovations.

Lina Kwok

Lina joins Catalyst as Business Analyst with a critical role in developing a centralised database and reporting dashboard for Bloom (Philippines), Maua (Kenya), Mekar (Indonesia), Hua Kai (China), and future middle of the diamond pilots. She is based in Singapore.

Lina holds a Bachelor of Computer Science in Software Engineering, and recently received her Project Management Certification. She joins us from Samsung Asia where she was an assistant manager on the Process Innovation Team working on web and mobile development to automate business processes and increase operational efficiencies. Prior working in Samsung, Lina has had multiple roles in developing and implementing IT projects. Lina grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia and is fluent in English and Bahasa.  

Her personal interests are application development, project management, watercolour illustrations, DIY projects, video and animation.

Jo Choi

Jo is focused on Catalyst Mutuality Lab initiatives in Asia, starting in Indonesia — where we have ongoing projects with Mars, Wrigley and Danone, on both the demand and the supply side. She is based in Singapore.

Jo joins us most recently from Standard Chartered where she helped manage a global campaign to make the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals famous across the globe: to 7 billion people in 7 days. Prior to that, she graduated with a masters in Water Science, Policy and Management from Oxford University and hopes to put that knowledge to use in her new role at Mars. Jo grew up in Singapore and has worked and studied in the USA, Korea, UK, Hong Kong, and Jakarta and is fluent in English, Korean, and Mandarin. 

When she’s not trying to reach every single person on this planet with some luminous message about peace and justice, she likes to read, tap her feet to music and stretch her limbs beyond what she feels is humanly possible. 

Piysuh Piyush Prashant

Bio coming soon.