Charles River Associates (CRA) Announces Vice President Promotions

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Charles River Associates (NASDAQ: CRAI), a worldwide leader in providing economic, financial, and management consulting services, today announced five vice-president promotions across four practice areas. Clayton Reck from the Labor & Employment Practice, Kaitlyn Edsall from the Life Sciences Practice, Kristen Backor from the Life Sciences Practice, Matthew Ahrens from the Forensic Services Practice, and Susan Competello from the Risk, Investigations & Analytics Practice, have been promoted to the level of vice president.

“We are pleased to announce the promotions of these five individuals to vice president,” said CRA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Maleh. “We are proud of their many contributions and appreciate their dedication and commitment to their clients and colleagues. We congratulate them on this career milestone.”

Clayton Reck specializes in consulting and expert witness support in labor and employment litigation. He has worked on federal and state wage and hour matters, class action discrimination cases, and single plaintiff cases, in the rebuttal of opposing expert work, damage calculations, and affirmative analyses. In addition, Dr. Reck has extensive experience in the post-secondary education sector, specifically related to for-profit education. Prior to joining CRA, he was a research economist with ERS Group, spent several years as a graduate student teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, during which time he received a number of awards for his service, and has served as an adjunct professor in the master’s in economics program at Florida State University.

Kaitlyn Edsall is an expert in customer insights and data strategy with a specialty in life sciences and healthcare. Ms. Edsall specialized in using secondary analytics and primary qualitative and quantitative research to inform and guide client decision-making from early clinical asset opportunity assessments to launch excellence. She has deep experience in the patient journey, competitive brand positioning, network analysis and segmentation, strategic brand planning and workshopping, and KPI setting and measurement. Ms. Edsall’s particular expertise lies in oncology, immunology, rare disease and women’s health.

Kristen Backor has over 15 years of experience in designing, conducting, and executing strategic market research. As Director of CRA’s Market Research Center of Excellence, she provides guidance and oversight for projects concerning qualitative and quantitative market research across multiple industries. In Life Sciences, Dr. Backor’s strategy consulting engagements focus on customer insights work with a variety of stakeholders, from consumers to physicians, highlighting challenging audiences such as key opinion leaders and rare disease patients. She also serves as an expert in litigation, using qualitative, quantitative, and observational research to inform key questions in cases involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, labeling claims, and other issues.

Matthew Ahrens helps clients respond to cyberattacks, as clients experience a critical need for clear answers, often coupled with an intense business imperative to restore operations. He is frequently called upon to assist with the containment and eradication of malware, develop a strategic response to demands for ransom, assess what confidential or regulated information may have been compromised, and assist with the development of information security roadmaps. Earlier in his career, Matt developed particular expertise in proactive services, such as cloud security, security operations, security program development, penetration testing, and secure code review. He draws upon this expertise to help clients restore normal business operations as quickly and safely as possible. Matt is a frequent speaker on cyber incident response matters at events such as NetDiligence, Advisen, and Claims and Litigation Management Alliance meetings. He is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and has earned the EnCE and AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate credentials.

Susan Competello joined Charles River Associates in May 2019 with over 15 years of experience in the consulting and financial sectors. Prior to entering the private sector, she completed 20 years of service with the New York City Police Department, where she focused on investigations, management and strategic planning. Susan’s experience is in the management and oversight of all aspects of investigations and research, including but not limited to financial investigations, due diligence investigations, fraud investigations, integrity programs and corporate/compliance investigations. She also oversees in-depth investigations into issues related to operational, financial, compliance, and reputational risks using a full range of US and international open sources. Susan interfaces with clients, prepares proposals, and determines project budget, scope, and resource needs. She manages teams throughout the engagement life cycle, ensuring cost effective work product and timely delivery under often-compressed time frames while assuring the quality and depth that clients have come to expect. Susan is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.

About Charles River Associates (CRA)

Charles River Associates® is a leading global consulting firm specializing in economic, financial, and management consulting services. CRA advises clients on economic and financial matters pertaining to litigation and regulatory proceedings, and guides corporations through critical business strategy and performance-related issues. Since 1965, clients have engaged CRA for its unique combination of functional expertise and industry knowledge, and for its objective solutions to complex problems. Headquartered in Boston, CRA has offices throughout the world. Detailed information about Charles River Associates, a registered trade name of CRA International, Inc., is available at Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


Daniel Mahoney

Chief Financial Officer

Charles River Associates


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Sharon Merrill Associates, Inc.