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Staff Profile: Claire Powers, Coordinator of Pilot & Voucher Programs

Heeding the Dalai Lama’s advice to “once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before,” doesn’t often land a person in front of the Buddhist monk himself.

For Claire Powers, however, an adventurous journey in support of her religious studies and philosophy education at The Ohio State University — where she majored in marketing — provided the experience of a lifetime.

“The summer after my sophomore year of college, I was able to spend two months in India. I went alone, rented a room in a house, and it was magical. I was in the city where the Dalai Lama — the highest spiritual leader and figurehead of Tibet — resides, and I got to attend two lessons from the Dalai Lama himself,” Powers recalls.

A unique worldly outlook fused with an aptitude for marketing compelled Powers to pursue a job in venue and business travel sales and marketing, accepting a coordinator position at LondonHouse Chicago. Her experiences after college in healthcare account representation for Business IT Solutions and Services at the CDW company, made her an ideal candidate to join NUCATS as its first coordinator of Pilot and Voucher programming. Joining the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute in January, Powers is excited to continue to grow.

“In this new role, I’ve been given an incredible opportunity to build on the job functions while enhancing aspects of the programs I oversee,” says Powers.

Coordinating pilot and voucher programming has made Powers an excellent resource for those in need of research funds. She attests that her work on funding projects provides an ability to help put the aspirations of researchers into action. 

Headshot of Claire Powers

I feel like I have been given an incredible opportunity to build on the job functions while enhancing aspects of the programs I’ll oversee.”

Claire Powers, Coordinator of Pilot and Voucher Programming

With programmatic flexibility comes a natural inclination for teamwork within the NUCATS community. Given the Pilot and Voucher Program coordinator position is a new role, Powers greatly appreciates input from staff concerning pilot and voucher improvements moving forward.

“I have the opportunity to design or redesign a lot of aspects of the program. If anyone wishes to see anything specific changed or come out of the voucher and pilot programs, send those suggestions my way. You might just see them implemented.” 

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs of Mount Prospect and Wilmette, Powers now resides in the Gold Coast neighborhood of the city with her Siamese kitten, Carmela — named after the HBO character Carmela Soprano. She values the walkability of the neighborhood and various musical entertainment options, offering many opportunities to connect with others.

“I go to a lot of concerts with my friends, from a variety of genres. For example, I saw Suki Waterhouse this January, in February I saw Maggie Rogers, and in March I will be seeing Iggy Pop. In the weekends between, I often go see local house music DJs.” 

Whether she’s across the world learning from the Dalai Lama or on the Near North Side listening to Iggy Pop, Powers appreciates her personal and professional growth through diverse experiences.

Written by Alex Miranda

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