people first, always

with decades of experience across the private and public sectors, the claira team is changing the future of work

meet the team meet the team
A decorative image of a treeA decorative image of a tree

katie hall

founder & ceo

grand rapids, michigan

katie spent eight years in global workforce development building competency models and helping companies and policy organizations prepare for the future of work.  she regularly speaks and writes on a variety of topics including diversity hiring, ai ethics, and automation impact on the workforce. 

having worked in many types of jobs - cleaning hotel rooms, making sandwiches, and assembling windows on a factory line, she believes valuable competencies are used in every role every day, everywhere. the problem isn’t people, it’s the hiring system.

katie holds an mba from mit sloan school of management, an mpa from the university of michigan gerald r. ford school of public policy and a ba in political science from hope college. 

rutwick bhawsar

algorithm lead / cto

san francisco, california

rutwick has a diverse work-history in the technology domain, headlined by a tenure as an software engineer at a major computer manufacturer.

he has also held positions at a non-profit, a start-up, and a university. like others, rutwick faced adversity while securing a job and understands that every individual brings an unique set of competencies that needs to be uncovered.

rutwick holds an msitm from the university of texas at austin, an ms computer science from the university of southern california and a be in information technology from mit, pune.

ian brynjolfson

vp, product / coo

boston, massachusetts

prior to joining claira, ian spent nearly 20 years in the semiconductor industry, leading large cross-functional global teams. most recently, he has held roles as an executive and product management director with expertise in strategizing, developing, and launching leading edge and innovative products. 

ian has had bad experiences on both sides of the broken hiring system, as a job seeker and an employer seeking diverse talent.

as a life long learner, ian received an mba from the mit sloan school of management, with a business analytics certificate. he also holds a masters degree in electrical engineering, and an undergraduate degree in computer engineering, from mcgill university in montreal.


elan kawesch

vp, growth

boston, massachusetts

elan joined claira after more than a decade as a founder, director, and consultant at major nonprofits. across multiple multi-million dollar program portfolios, he founded initiatives and developed growth strategies that impacted hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries.

a lifelong entrepreneur, elan has worked an array of positions. in college, he was a freelance photojournalist and included the wall street journal, harvard university, and the times of israel on his client list.

elan holds an ma in international economics and finance from the brandeis international business school and a ba in business from brandeis university.

melody alefteras

principal engineer

olympia, washington

melody has spent over 15 years at the cutting edge of computer programming and database management. a talented engineer, she discovered programming when analyzing and visualizing large datasets of lithic technology. she earned the aws solutions architect associate certification after being a forerunner in using aws technologies to modernize information technology at two washington state departments.

until her junior year of college, melody was determined to be an archaeologist and also dreamt of being a writer. she has raised a family, four dogs, and five chickens while doing it all!

melody holds an ms in management information systems from western governors university and a bla in computer science from the evergreen state college.

amber forkan

database engineer

olympia, washington

amber is an expert in managing large datasets and developing applications for a diverse user set. she began her engineering career as a data manager for the state of washington, where she was one of the few experts in aws relational database systems. she remains at the forefront of cloud infrastructure.

amber previously worked as a barista and was selected for a prestigious intensive language and cultural exchange to japan. she spent most of her childhood in the san juan islands, home to the j-pod of orca whales, and extends her love of animals as a cat rescuer.

amber studied political science and history at the evergreen state university, with a minor focus in economics.

Katie Hall headshot

katie hall

founder & ceo

grand rapids, michigan

katie spent eight years in global workforce development building competency models and helping companies and policy organizations prepare for the future of work.  she regularly speaks and writes on a variety of topics including diversity hiring, ai ethics, and automation impact on the workforce. 

having worked in many types of jobs - cleaning hotel rooms, making sandwiches, and assembling windows on a factory line, she believes valuable competencies are used in every role every day, everywhere. the problem isn’t people, it’s the hiring system.

katie holds an mba from mit sloan school of management, an mpa from the university of michigan gerald r. ford school of public policy and a ba in political science from hope college. 

Rutwick Bhawsar Headshot

rutwick bhawsar

algorithm lead / cto

san francisco, california

rutwick has a diverse work-history in the technology domain, headlined by a tenure as an software engineer at a major computer manufacturer.

he has also held positions at a non-profit, a start-up, and a university. like others, rutwick faced adversity while securing a job and understands that every individual brings an unique set of competencies that needs to be uncovered.

rutwick holds an msitm from the university of texas at austin, an ms computer science from the university of southern california and a be in information technology from mit, pune.

Ian Brynjolfson Headshot

ian brynjolfson

vp, product / coo

boston, massachusetts

prior to joining claira, ian spent nearly 20 years in the semiconductor industry, leading large cross-functional global teams. most recently, he has held roles as an executive and product management director with expertise in strategizing, developing, and launching leading edge and innovative products. 

ian has had bad experiences on both sides of the broken hiring system, as a job seeker and an employer seeking diverse talent.

as a life long learner, ian received an mba from the mit sloan school of management, with a business analytics certificate. he also holds a masters degree in electrical engineering, and an undergraduate degree in computer engineering, from mcgill university in montreal.

Elan Kawesch headshot

elan kawesch

vp, growth

boston, massachusetts

elan joined claira after more than a decade as a founder, director, and consultant at major nonprofits. across multiple multi-million dollar program portfolios, he founded initiatives and developed growth strategies that impacted hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries.

a lifelong entrepreneur, elan has worked an array of positions. in college, he was a freelance photojournalist and included the wall street journal, harvard university, and the times of israel on his client list.

elan holds an ma in international economics and finance from the brandeis international business school and a ba in business from brandeis university.

Melody Alefteras Headshot

melody alefteras

principal engineer

olympia, washington

melody has spent over 15 years at the cutting edge of computer programming and database management. a talented engineer, she discovered programming when analyzing and visualizing large datasets of lithic technology. she earned the aws solutions architect associate certification after being a forerunner in using aws technologies to modernize information technology at two washington state departments.

until her junior year of college, melody was determined to be an archaeologist and also dreamt of being a writer. she has raised a family, four dogs, and five chickens while doing it all!

melody holds an ms in management information systems from western governors university and a bla in computer science from the evergreen state college.

Amber Forkan Headshot

amber forkan

database engineer

olympia, washington

amber is an expert in managing large datasets and developing applications for a diverse user set. she began her engineering career as a data manager for the state of washington, where she was one of the few experts in aws relational database systems. she remains at the forefront of cloud infrastructure.

amber previously worked as a barista and was selected for a prestigious intensive language and cultural exchange to japan. she spent most of her childhood in the san juan islands, home to the j-pod of orca whales, and extends her love of animals as a cat rescuer.

amber studied political science and history at the evergreen state university, with a minor focus in economics.