Director of Global Macro, Eurasia Group and U.S. Electoral Politics/Geopolitical Risk Management Expert
Willis Sparks is director of global macro at Eurasia Group, the world's largest political risk consulting and advisory firm. He focuses on top global political risks as well as US politics and elections. He is a thought leader within the firm on issues, trends, opportunities and risks created by political developments in major emerging market countries, US politics and foreign policy and current geopolitical conflicts.
Prior to joining Eurasia Group in 2005, Sparks worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he wrote on transnational terrorism and US national security. He regularly gives speeches on market-moving trends in international politics for investor and corporate audiences in the US and abroad. Television appearances include BBC, CNBC, CBS Evening News, CNN, Bloomberg, FOX, Yahoo, BNN and other networks.
Sparks holds a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he specialized in International Security policy and the study of the former Soviet Union. He also earned an MA degree in International Relations from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. Willis holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Brown University and is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he spent four year in the actor training program. Between 1990 and 2001, Sparks performed featured roles on Broadway, off-Broadway, in film and on television.
Every comic can tell a joke—but Steve Patterson is a triple threat of funny. Smart, well-read, well-versed in current events, quick on his feet, and a riveting raconteur, Patterson can quickly turn a crowd of strangers into a roomful of laughing co-conspirators.
Though most familiar to over 700,000 weekly listeners as host of the hit comedy The Debaters on CBC Radio One, it is as an award-winning stand-up comedian and Master of Ceremonies where Steve Patterson proves most masterful. Since leaving a full-time career as a copywriter behind in 1997, Patterson has performed all over the English-speaking world in comedy clubs, theatres and live events.
This fall will see the release of his first book, The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send: a collection of unsent missives (long a staple of his stand-up comedy routine) in which no subject or target is off-limits. Comedian Debra Giovanni raves that it’s “just like Steve Patterson: funny, smart, and just a tiny bit weird.”
Career highlights include being named Canada’s Best Male Stand-up Comic at the Canadian Comedy Awards in both 2011 and 2013 as well as being nominated as the Canadian Comedy Person of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He has also headlined throughout Ireland and Australia, performed for several top tier North American companies throughout the continent and has starred in several nationally televised specials in Canada including the prestigious Just For Laughs Galas where, in 2010, his performance on a Steve Martin hosted gala prompted the comedy icon to proclaim:
“If I’d known he was going to be THAT good I would have cancelled him.”
In 2014, Patterson completed his first national theatre tour of his one man show called “This is Not Debatable” and released a comedy album of the same name, both of which received strong critical acclaim. He also hosted a one hour special called I Wrecked My House for HGTV Canada which earned him a 2015 Canadian Screen Award nomination and helped the series get picked up for a 14 episode run scheduled to air on HGTV this spring. This year Patterson will embark on his second national theatre tour entitled “I Laugh Therefore I Think,” and will continue his hosting duties with CBC Radio on the ninth season of The Debaters.