The Talented Team That Drives the ARF
Executive Leadership Team
CEO & President
Scott McDonald became the CEO and President of the Advertising Research Foundation in March 2017. Prior to joining the ARF, he held senior research positions at leading global media companies, including 18 years at Time Warner, and 14 years at Conde Nast, covering both the consumer and the advertising sides of the media business. Throughout his career, he has kept a foot in both the academic and business worlds, teaching for 5 years at NYU and for 18 years at Columbia Business School. He serves as an adviser to the Social Science Matrix Program at UC Berkeley, and is on the Board of the Population Reference Bureau. An avid art lover, he also is on the board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He holds an A.B. degree from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. CEO & President Member Newsletters
Chief Research Officer
Paul Donato joined the ARF as Chief Research Officer in October 2017. Paul is a highly-regarded leader in media and advertising research with more than two decades of industry experience. Earlier in his career he co-founded WPP’s Media Research Business Unit, served as CEO of Kantar Media, and Technical Director of IBOPE Latin America. He was the EVP and CRO for The Nielsen Company for more than a decade, overseeing Nielsen retail, consumer, mobile, and media measurement methodologies. Upon leaving Nielsen, Paul founded Jatopond, a media and market research firm. He also has led business units at Simmons, and at Audits and Surveys Worldwide. He currently sits on the Future State Committee of the National Air and Space Museum. In addition to leading the research team, Paul will also play an active role in overall ARF leadership, helping to guide our future direction.
Rachael is the SVP, Events at the ARF where she leads a team responsible for all program content and attendee experiences. This includes conceptualizing and executing programs, building judging committees and activating board involvement in events. Rachael also spearheads the ARF Women in Analytics Group, a series of events and community-building initiatives, throughout the country.
Chief Growth Officer
Michael Heitner joined the Advertising Research Foundation in 2011 and is the ARF’s Chief Growth Officer responsible for Membership, Sponsorship and New Member Development. Key to achieving our growth and revenue goals is delivering strong member value. Michael is integrally involved in working with the ARF Board and Executive Team to grow and build the organization. Prior to the ARF, he spent most of his career on the advertising agency side of the business. Most notably, Michael founded and ran his own agency, Heitner Weiss, for 14 years. When not working, Michael is an avid tennis player and photographer.
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Tom joined the ARF as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer in 2015 after a successful career as a partner in a New York City public accounting firm and as chief financial officer of an internationally recognized educational membership not-for-profit organization. In his current role, Tom has oversight responsibility for the ARF’s finance, technology and human resources functions.