Born, raised, and educated in Moscow, Nadia Clifford has firsthand experience of the demise of the Soviet Union, its food shortages, financial meltdowns, and coup d’états. Growing up in Russia taught her self-sufficiency, perseverance and appreciation for the simple things in life.
She speaks three languages in addition to her native Russian. She writes fiction in English.
She worked several jobs throughout high school and college, from selling Avon cosmetics, to translating science articles, to working in a German speaking Siemens office. At 19, Nadia became the first employee at her mother’s new company, keeping the books, working with the post-Soviet bureaucracies, and corresponding with partners worldwide. She also created a business management software application to support the operations and finances of the growing enterprise.
Nadia graduated summa cum laude from Mendeleyev’s University in Moscow with a BS in Chemical Engineering. She met her husband John during a student exchange trip to the US. She moved to Boston after completing her degree in Moscow.
Lacking US work experience, Nadia had to settle for a front desk position at a small biotech. She approached the IT director who graciously let her work on a small programming project, which led to the job of a scientific software engineer.
Within the span of the next ten years Nadia built a successful career in the IT industry in America. She ran her own consulting business, became a certified expert in HR applications, and traveled all around the US. She worked as a senior business analyst leading multi-million dollar projects for Fortune 500 companies. She worked as a team leader in software product development and research. She built a highly efficient agile process, facilitated technical brainstorming sessions, and motivated the teams, all the while managing a healthy psychological climate. She eventually became a director of project management in a large multinational corporation.
Meanwhile, she also became a mother to two sons. In 2009, she traveled to Russia and adopted a little girl. She was driven by a desire to have a daughter and to give back to her country of birth.
Nadia works with a writing coach, attends writing workshops, and is a member of Grub Street, a creative writing program in Boston. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.
Photo: Adrien Bisson